January 19, 2011

Optimizing Your WLAN to Support Wi-Fi Enabled Phones and Tablets

Many organizations are discovering that employees, end users, and partners are bringing consumer Wi-Fi enabled phones such as the Apple iPhone 4 and tablets such as the Apple iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, or Android-enabled tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Dell Streak on to the enterprise wireless network. Organizations are also looking at ways to enhance productively by deploying business-ready tablets such as Cisco Cius for business applications and real-time communications, video, collaboration, and TelePresence (Figure 1). As organizations incorporate a greater variety and quantity of mobility-enabled devices on to the wireless LAN (WLAN), IT teams will need to more effectively manage network resources in order to maintain a robust, high-performance wireless network.

This white paper provides technical guidance and outlines recommended steps that IT teams can take to more effectively support Wi-Fi enabled phones and tablets on the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. This guidance is applicable for 802.11n-enabled devices such as the Apple iPhone 4, Apple iPad, or Cisco® Cius™ tablet as well as any other phone, tablet, or device that has a wireless profile that includes single spatial streams, limited 20-MHz channel operations, or selected support of 2.4 or 5 GHz frequencies.

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1 Comment

As noted recently concerning security and mobile devices, there's essentially no way that you can avoid being inundated with an influx of mobile devices. Every phone is becoming a "smart phone," and the hottest new gadgets/toys/"critical business tools" will be pad/tablet devices.

Since all of these devices are also WiFi enabled, you need to be ready to support them efficiently on your corporate network. (Even though a lot of the devices will also include 3G/4G wireless support, at least three reasons for this support will be that some devices will have WiFi connectivity only, in some cases WiFi will outperform and/or be less expensive than cellular connectivity (especially for 3G devices), and cellular reception may not work well in the interior of some buildings.)

This paper does a great job examining what you need to do both to make sure that you have adequate support and that your network is adequately protected for these devices. While it focuses on Cisco-based implementations, the underlying issues are the same regardless of your supplier.

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