Wireless LANs - The End of the Beginning
by Craig J. Mathias, Farpoint Group
Published August, 2003: Posted August 2003




First generation wireless LANs (WLANs) have been widely adopted in small offices and home offices. However, there are some issues that have limited the wide scale deployment of WLANs in the enterprise. As we reach the end of the first generation of WLANs, this IT Business Brief examines where we stand on these issues.


The brief begins with a discussion of alternative WLAN physical layers.  This discussion is optimistic that soon the choice of the appropriate physical layer will be a non-issue. However, the discussion of wireless security points out that solving the security issues will more complex.


The brief then discusses three topics that I think are key to the broad acceptance of WLANs by enterprise customers. Those issues are coverage, ease of use, and Total Cost of Ownership. The brief also points out the potential movement to a centralized architecture as a way to reduce the cost and increase the manageability of WLANs.


This is our first IT Business Brief on the topic of WLANs. Future IT Business Briefs will explore these issues in greater detail.


About the Author:


Craig Mathias is a Principal with Farpoint Group, an Ashland, MA based advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobile communications. Farpoint Group works primarily with manufacturers on technology, strategy, market, and product issues.



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