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802.11ac a challenge for businesses: Wavelink

802.11ac a challenge for businesses: Wavelink

Networking vendor sees growing data consumption putting a strain on wireless resources

As bring your own device (BYOD) makes way for “bring your own everything," Wavelink expects businesses to struggle with wireless networking.

Australia managing director, Ilan Rubin, attributes this to almost all new devices being 802.11ac capable.

“The challenge for the organisation will be providing a network that supports this new wireless standard as users increasingly expect a flawless high speed connection anywhere, at any time on any of their multiple devices,” he said.

Rubin said numerous organisations are in many ways still overcoming obstacles stemming from BYOD.

“Wireless networks which were installed relatively recently, even two to three years ago, were never intended to support the large number of devices flooding their network,” he said.

“They generally do not have the ability of being upgraded to support the device density.”

Bandwidth-hungry wireless applications continue to proliferate, with Rubin pointing to how Netflix and YouTube now account for more than half of downstream internet traffic in North America.

“BYOD users with Internet access at work can easily suck up a large chunk of a business’ wireless network, if left unfettered,” he said.

While enough time has passed for some organisations to adequately deal with BYOD, Rubin said very few have yet come to grips with managing the diversity of BYOD devices and the related BYO applications.

Read more: Purple WiFi partners with Wavelink

Upgrade opportunity

Smartphones provided businesses with an initial lesson in BYOD management, though nowadays tablets are also being brought into the workplace in increasing numbers.

Rubin said the large screens make tablets ideal to view streaming video content, thus indirectly leading users to consume more data than before.

Then there is the rise of a whole new generation of wearable wireless devices, such as smart watches, exercise/lifestyle wristbands and glasses.

“All of these consume network bandwidth, require network access and management and pose potential security and privacy risks,” Rubin said.

With the added data load on existing networks, Rubin said this could be an opportunity for resellers to revisit their customers and upgrade their wireless to the 802.11ac standard.

“It delivers enhanced performance, as well as providing a wireless network that has the capability of supporting the high densities of devices today and into the future,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

Read more: Optus integrates direct billing into Google Play store for Android users

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