802.11 Usage Seen Increasing in Corporations
October 19, 2001
802.11 usage in the corporation has progressed to the point where a clear majority of respondents plan on implementing or expanding wireless access within the next 18 months, according to a new study, with security and implementation costs possibly limiting this further expansion.
Wireless adoption in the corporation has progressed to the point where a clear majority of respondents plan on implementing or expanding wireless access within the next 18 months, according to a new research report, with security and implementation costs possibly limiting this further expansion.
The report, made public by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), was originally commissioned by Microsoft and draws on interviews with executives of 180 firms using more than 500 personal computers. Of those surveyed, 40 percent have already implemented wireless networks, while another 31 percent plan on rolling out wireless support in the next 18 months.
The benefits of wireless technology are clear, say respondents: wireless networks contribute to a better working environment for employees while bringing down the physical costs of networking. However, these benefits are counterweighted by concerns about security, as well as apprehension about paying for the introduction of a new technology into an existing network.
As a result, the top wireless-technology feature cited by those already using wireless and those planning on implementing wireless is security. That concern was manifested in two ways: interest in future security enhancements to the 802.11 protocol, and product compatibility with existing VPN/RADIUS authentication services.
Also part of the survey was a breakdown of usage between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HiperLAN/2. Currently Wi-Fi is being used by 83 percent of the respondents, with that percentage expected to increase to 88 percent within 18 months. However, while Bluetooth usage is negligible today (only 1 percent of the respondents are employing Bluetooth technology today), Bluetooth usage in the surveyed audience is expected to rise to 17 percent of the audience within the next 18 months.
An overview page with links to various summaries of the report can be found at the WECA Web site.