The Case for Next-Generation Wireless LANs: Faster Connections and More Applications and Users

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Executive Summary

Once regarded as optional technology, wireless networks are creating efficiencies and reducing costs not only in corporate enterprises, but also in a wide array of industries, such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Meanwhile, IEEE has recently ratified a highly anticipated WLAN standard called 802.11n, which promises a 5x increase in data speeds and unprecedented reliability. Wireless networking has also evolved to include mesh technology. In a wireless mesh, the network dynamically routes packets from access point to access point. A few nodes have to be connected directly to an Ethernet port, but the rest share a connection with one another over the air, negating the seemingly contradictory need to distribute wires for a wireless network.

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