Wireless overtakes wired LAN in the enterprise

Wireless LAN

Corporate adoption of Wi-Fi is growing at such a rate that is now outstripping sales of wired Ethernet installations, according to research released today.

The study of 400 European IT directors, commissioned by Motorola, revealed that in 54 per cent of the enterprises surveyed, spending on wireless infrastructure now outstrips wired LAN investment.

"With budgets being squeezed, companies in every industry sector are looking for ways to become more efficient. It is therefore no surprise that the trend is towards all wireless networks," said Marco Landi, acting vice president and general manager of Motorola's enterprise mobility business in Europe.

The growth in wireless LAN investment in the enterprise can be attributed to a number of reasons. Confidence in the technology is increasing thanks to faster standards such as draft n and better wireless security, companies also like the ease of deployment, as installing wireless access points does not require the installation of cable trunking or pulling up floors. Finally, wireless offers more flexibility temporary networks and extensions can be created quickly and easily by existing IT staff.

IT directors in the UK consider wireless LAN deployment to be primarily strategic, with 72 per cent of them highlighting strategic issues as their main reason for deploying.

The research also revealed that 88 per cent of companies expect all their networked equipment to be wireless, or at least wireless-enabled, within three years.

IT directors were also surveyed on the concerns and issues associated with having a fully wireless network.

Security was cited by 63 per cent as the prime concern, followed by network performance by 43 per cent. Ensuring that all data passing over the network is handled efficiently and reliability is a major concern, especially as video and Voice over IP (VoIP) becomes more widespread in the enterprise.