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Harsh Wireless Environment? Not a Problem.

It’s a fact – everyone wants wireless access.  Recent research indicates that by 2015, more US internet users will be accessing the internet over their mobile devices than on traditional computers.   With that many people online and on their mobile devices not having stable, secure wireless access is surely an impediment for companies as well as every day users. Companies leverage mobile devices to enable a more efficient workforce. Mobile devices are used to leverage “always-on” applications, increasing access for employees and as a better means of time management. Both of which increase employee productivity.  Companies also often rely on their wireless network for regulating employee safety.  Such is the case for the iron manufacturing company, North American Hoganas Inc.

With 11 production facilities across four continents in eight countries including the United States, where it staffs 250 employees, North American Hoganas Inc. needed to deploy an end-to-end wireless network in order to keep up with market demands and target new operational efficiencies.  Up to the minute communication is vital not only for business operations, but also for the safety of their plant employees.  Updating employees on risk assessments, proper product handling techniques, and work schedules are just some examples of mission-critical, daily communication from management to employees.  There was one problem that stood between North American Hoganas Inc and a successfully deploying a pervasive wireless network: North American Hoganas Inc. itself.

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Status-Quo Disruption: What Constitutes Enough Competition?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Interesting news came out of Europe last month regarding upstart service providers’ potentially disruptive behavior, as well as the responses of established competitors. The news begs the question about telecommunications competition – when does more competition lead to lower prices, and when does it lead to overlapping investment that drives costs up?

In an area as cutting-edge as telecommunications, does increased competition drive R&D investment or decimate it?

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Broadband: Exploring the Demographic Patterns

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Broadband wireless technology has no doubt had an impact on enterprise productivity — the ability for companies to provide anytime, anywhere access to both data and colleagues means faster response time and the competitive advantage that brings.

But we sometimes focus more on the corporate impact than the impact it has on personal lives as well — and not just the ability of teenagers to text or celebrities to tweet.

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The Library of the 21st Century

Today we live in a fast-paced digital world. And increasingly, towns and municipalities are expected to keep pace. Close to home here, I can say that the Town of Los Gatos is doing just that. In fact, it recently updated its network to allow for more future-ready capabilities—for the town library and many other services, as highlighted in the video, “Building Networks that Last.”

After attending the opening of the Los Gatos Public Library (LGPL) earlier this month, my perception of what a library is and what it can be has changed forever. With a completely new ‘green’ building and state-of-the-art technology throughout, the library has thrown out its old ways and stepped up to meet the needs and desires of the 21st century.

Recognizing that we are dependent on the internet, the library has updated its wireless to the high-speeds of 802.11n and has added 29 new double booting iMacs. Adjusting to the increase of people working remotely and wanting a place to work, LGPL has provided ample seating –some group spaces and others more private –all with outlets nearby or built into the tables. Hundreds of windows and study rooms with glass walls allow a generous amount of natural light into the library, creating a pleasant atmosphere and saving energy at the same time. It has also ditched the old rules of no eating or talking, so people can answer cell phones and have snacks while they work.

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Will Wi-Fi Begin a New Chapter for Mobile?

In 97 countries around the world, there are now more mobile devices than people. No wonder mobile networks are clogged with massive amounts of new traffic! Mobile operators are struggling with how to provide the mobile broadband experience customers expect, in a cost-effective, scalable, and profitable manner. I believe that Wi-Fi, the “silent sleeper” of wireless access networks, may hold the answer.

The mobile industry is on the brink of a fundamental change. Just think of some recent key developments:

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