Last week, the Dimension Data Network Barometer Report 2012 came out and it had some very interesting things to say about the state of wired and wireless networks. DiData conducts Technology Lifecycle Management (TLM) surveys each year on about 300 companies with the goal of benchmarking how networks are evolving and to find areas of potential vulnerability. One thing that popped out was the jump in 802.11n adoption. For the 2011 report they found only 12% of all access points were 802.11n capable. This year’s report was more hopeful as they found that one third of all access points were now 802.11n capable.
Why would someone care about 802.11n capability in their company’s wireless access points?
There are a few reasons to care about 802.11n. First, you’ll get at least six times the performance as legacy 802.11a/g access points. With the proliferation of devices (you don’t just have a laptop – you’ve got a smartphone, and maybe even a tablet), even if the number of workers hasn’t grown, the number of devices per employee has. Another reason to care is that 802.11n and later standards such as 802.11r and 802.11ac allow for greater range. With your tablets and smartphones (hello BYOD) you can move around your office and still be connected to the internet. You can email your team to tell them you’ll be late as you dash between meetings and you can check the news as you wait for coffee to brew in the breakroom. However, not everything is perfect, yet.
There is still that 2/3rds of businesses that don’t have 802.11n and for you I have a poll: What is the one place at your work where you’d like better wireless connectivity? Ever been in a conference room, having a meeting, and needed to look something up but couldn’t get online because you couldn’t get wireless access? Or been strolling the hallway and needed to check your email but nothing was coming in?