I normally do not like to focus on one specific article or writer’s opinion, but I happen to be a big fan of Joanie Wexler and her insightful research. NetworkWorld has just published Ms Wexler’s article “When Wireless Worlds Collide” and it is a must read by anyone that is participating in the decision-making process pertaining to wireless technologies and Unified Communications.
The article is divided into four specific areas:
Mobile voice: Companies must decide how they plan to provide ubiquitous in-building voice coverage. Do you go with Wi-Fi or cellular? You need to make that decision so you can determine the appropriate mix of handsets for your organization going forward.
802.11n: Next-generation high-speed WLANs are shipping ahead of formal standards. Don’t jump in all at once. But don’t ignore 802.11n either. Begin adding 802.11n gear conservatively as you open up new offices, retire legacy products, require spot network performance improvements or unwire your access point network by using an 802.11n mesh.
Mobile WAN: WiMAX services with 2M to 4Mbps per-user speeds will go commercial this year. In addition, open-access initiatives from Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Clearwire and the winners of federal auction of the C block of the 700MHz wireless spectrum (now underway), might fundamentally impact your mobile procurements.
Convergence: Build a mobile convergence plan starting with the features you need today. Will extending PBX numbers to mobile users suffice? Or do you require unified e-mail and voice mail systems, corporate directory access, presence capabilities and video mail? Do users need automatic signal handoff from WLAN to mobile WAN? The answers to these questions will determine your potential vendor partners.
The article gives a very well rounded view of what technology will be available and what specific details need to be addressed in the decision-making process. One area that I intend to cover in more detail is the turf war heating up as to whether WiMAX or 4G/LTE will be the ultimate winner in the mobile WAN arena.