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Making WiFi work



Enterprise users are tired of unstable connections, dropped packets and erratic performance of some Wi-Fi networks. They want smarter wireless WLAN systems that provide better coverage, capacity, and reliability, says MICHAEL FLETCHER of Ruckus Wireless.

With the growth of mobile, smart devices are becoming mandatory for employee productivity and the need for hardware to deliver higher capacity has become a requirement in the network. Further, as more applications proliferate to increase productivity, such as video, VoIP, large file transfers, etc., the need for higher speed networks has become necessary and there is now huge demand by enterprises for the use of diverse technology using advanced Wi-Fi. In line with this, enterprises ‚ big and small – want all the bells and whistles of high-end WLAN, in a system that’s more affordable and easier to deploy and manage.

Originally, Wi-Fi served as a simple, easy-to-use and low-cost technology for consumer data applications. However, as enterprises attempted to apply conventional Wi-Fi to stream real-time video or access graphic-rich multimedia content – often over extended distances – problems quickly became evident. Interrupted video, dropped connections and limited range have now simply become unacceptable to enterprises and their users. Meanwhile, despite these problems, a wave of powerful, Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices and tablet computers continue to flood enterprise networks.

As a result, enterprises are looking for adaptable, robust, easily deployed wireless LAN solutions. In fact, according to the IDC, as more and more users and employees of enterprises are accessing the network using smart mobile devices, enterprise IT managers need to find synergies in integrating other parts of their enterprise communications systems into their WLAN where voice/unified communications (UC)/video technologies are a prominent example of this.

Until now, this has never really been possible. However, with a number of unique capabilities such as integrated adaptive antenna arrays and related software (BeamFlex), predictive channel selection (ChannelFly), automatic polarisation diversity (PD-MRC) and smart meshing (SmartMesh), we are now not only able to create a smart feature-rich WLAN system, but we are able to do so in an easy-to-use Wi-Fi system that is reliable and extensible at a low total cost of ownership.

As smart devices pop up everywhere in enterprises, Wi-Fi will be needed to achieve the same performance of traditional laptops. Right sizing wireless LANs for your business and budget is a matter of picking the vendor with the most efficient network architecture. Choose a WLAN with inefficient radio frequency (RF) antennas, controller architecture, and management, and the price will escalate as more components are needed to achieve desired coverage and capacity levels. Choose a vendor who understands the industry, uses innovative patented technology and creates a bespoke architecture for your business and you get what you want ‚ wireless that works.

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