Wireless technologies have allowed for improved convenience, flexibility, and collaboration in the corporate world. Every year, these technologies become even better, enabling more data capacity and allowing data sharing at even greater speeds. But is it advanced enough to completely replace the more traditional wired networks that have seen their glory days in the 90s?
At first glance, it would seem so. In 2008, Mary Meeker, a tech trend analyst from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, predicted that mobile internet would surpass fixed Internet access by 2014. As it turned out, it came true, a few months earlier in 2013.
In a study by comScore in 2014, time spent on mobile was up by 60% from 2013 while desktop time was down 40%. While the statistics do not differentiate leisure time from work time, it’s very clear how much wireless technology has overtaken wired and fixed internet connections.
Pros of Wireless Networks
The most standout feature of wireless network is the portability factor. Imagine having a conference with your office in New York while you are vacationing on some beach in the Caribbean. Wireless access enables users to travel while still being connected wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
Indeed the convenience of having Wi-Fi-enabled devices and wireless broadband access is a big plus for enterprises. Employees can easily share files or collaborate with their co-workers via video conferencing or screen sharing without needing to plug in cables. They can also use wireless devices with easy data sharing features like AirDrop or Bluetooth to quickly and conveniently share files or documents.
Another pro is the cost of setting up wireless networks over traditional Ethernet connections. Start-ups often chose wireless because it saves on additional hardware and labor. You don’t need to hire an entire IT team for small businesses with wireless technologies.
Nevertheless, these does not mean wireless does not have its drawbacks.
Cons of Wireless Networks
Security is often the caveat of having free Wi-Fi connectivity. Hackers can intercept data passing over the radio waves quite easily with unsecured connections such free public Wi-Fi. When using wireless for work, you need a secure VPN (Virtual private Network) to protect against these attacks.
Speed is also a consideration since wired networks generally communicate faster through the wire. Moreover, location is also a factor when it comes to wireless speed—the farther you are from your office router, the slower the speed.
The Future of Wireless for Business
Wireless technologies have their imperfections, but they still offer a great option for people wanting to live and work freely, untethered to the four walls of their offices while still working hard for the business.
In fieldwork, wireless connectivity is essential in making business processes faster and more efficient by sending and receiving information without the need to be hooked up physically to the web.
Wireless technologies have vast applications that can benefit the society and the economy. As such, in the works are new and better technologies such as Li-Fi or Light Fidelity, touted as the next generation Wi-Fi. This futuristic technology uses light waves instead of the traditional radio waves to send and receive binary data.
The Internet of Things applications for business will also be reliant on wireless technology. Industries using IoT applications enable their factories, warehouses, and offices to run independently and efficiently, diminishing costs and driving growth.
In mobile telecommunications, the next great thing to look out for is the 5G mobile data. Telecoms are aware and preparing for the eventual rise of IoT technologies that would demand constant data streaming in order to function seamlessly. As more and more people connect and transact business over their mobile devices, demand for better mobile Internet access could only grow.
While wireless today is still continuing to evolve and innovate, a combination of wired and wireless solutions should work for most businesses to enable mobility, cost-effectiveness, and security. Business enterprise should address the issues of today but should also be prepared for the future because a flexible business is a business poised to grow and adapt to change.