Networking's greatest debates in Wireless

Including BlackBerry vs. Palm, Municipal Wi-Fi vs. 3G, CDMA vs. GSM and Wireless LANs vs. wired LANs

"That's because it offers Wi-Fi speeds or better, but unlimited roaming. People don't want to walk from Starbucks to Starbucks for connectivity."

But the higher speeds also make possible brand new digital data services, both information and entertainment, based on a wide range of media types including pictures, music, TV and streaming video. These media and the spread of wireless push e-mail is giving cell phone users a taste for what this new "always-on" data network can do.

This is one argument that's far from over.
John Cox

Wireless LANs vs. wired LANs

For years, this was one of those non-arguments. Who in their right mind would exchange a dedicated Gigabit or even 100Mbps wired Ethernet connection for a shared 54Mbps wireless one?

College students, it turns out. On campus after campus, even with high-speed wired connections in their dorm rooms, most students who have WLAN access use it as their main connection to campus applications, libraries and labs, and the Internet. Increasingly, that's happening in business as well: people with wireless clients expect to connect...anywhere.

This argument is heating up, for two reasons. First, new software and silicon now let vendors build wireless LAN functions directly into Ethernet switches. The infrastructure will handle both wired and wireless access with integrated security and management. Second, and more dramatically, vendors such as Meru and Cisco are now releasing next generation Wi-Fi gear based on the draft 802.11n standard. Users can expect to see shared throughput of 150M to 200Mbps to start and well over 300Mbps in premium equipment soon.

"If you look at 11n with 150Mbps and 20 users sharing the access point, they get 7Mbps average throughput," says Paul DeBeasi, senior analyst with Burton Group. "They don't get that in their homes with DSL and cable modems. It's time for people to reset their thinking." DeBeasi tried to do just that by authoring a recent, provocatively titled study "The end of Ethernet?"

Will 802.11n, the next generation high-throughput Wi-Fi, make the RJ-45 connector in the office wall as obsolete as gaslights? That question will start to be answered during the next 12 months as companies make decisions on new or upgraded corporate WLANs.
John Cox

Read Networking's greatest debates in Security
Read Networking's greatest debates in Software
Read Newtorking's greatest debates in the Data Center
Read Newtorking's greatest debates in Management
Read Networking's greatest debates in LANS + WANS

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Network World staff

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?