A WIRED network has long been considered a standard feature in any organisation, offering speed, reliability & security that could not be matched by any wireless solution.
Until recently, wireless networks could easily be accessed by people outside an organisation & it was more appealing to protect network access simply by preventing anyone physically hooking into a plug in the wall.
Speed was also an issue. In the early days of wireless, networks operated at one or two megabits per second & there was a constant battle to establish a reliable wireless connection. This was compared to a stable 125 megabits per second offered by wired solutions at the time.
Today only around 20 percent of the workforce is deskbound & wireless technology delivers upto 300 megabits per second. Many workers now require portable technology in the form of laptops, PDAs & mobile phones to do their job. In addition, many executives are bringing personal devices such as tablet computers to work & requesting their connection. With a device such as iPad that is without an Ethernet port, this connection must be wireless. The devices all need wireless Internet access & Wireless LAN technology - WiFi - was developed to do just that. WiFi is now a mature technology, able to solve enterprise mobility requirements & offer significant cost savings.
There are several downsides to a wired solution including the high cost of infrastructure, lack of security & mobility.
COST OF INFRASTRUCTURE Up to four ports at each desk & the associated cable runs & switches the ports require, drive up infrastructure costs. Since Ethernet terminations are fixed & users move around, there are sometimes considerably more edge ports than users. Once the implementation is complete the network is then often underutilised & moving ports is costly. Mainenance & management of these ports & the subsequent switches is an unnecessary cost for many organistations.