Wireless networking

RECENT NEWS
WA Business News  Mar 12  Comment 
Malaga-based wireless products manufacturer Acurix Networks provided free WiFi to about 150,000 people on Rottnest Island last year, with the average user spending more than one and a half hours on the service.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 9  Comment 
Telecoms and networking giants are placing a bet on fifth-generation wireless networks. So far, though, the industry hasn’t quite figured out what 5G infrastructure is yet.
Forbes  Mar 2  Comment 
Monday HP announced that it will acquire WiFi provider Aruba Networks for $24.67 per share. The deal, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, is valued at $3 billion, or $2.7 billion net of cash and debt.
Telecom Ramblings  Mar 2  Comment 
After ShoreTel turned up its nose at that unsolicited offer last autumn, Mitel was still hungry for some inorganic growth.  Today they struck again with the announcement of an agreement to acquire Mavenir.   Mavenir specializes in software...
Forbes  Feb 28  Comment 
Airport lounges have long served as a refuge for frequent travelers away from the casual public. Quiet, exclusive and stocked with amenities ranging from showers to free WiFi to fully catered meals, an airport lounge can be the perfect...
Benzinga  Feb 26  Comment 
In a report published Thursday, D.A. Davidson analyst James G. Moorman reiterated a Buy rating and $10.00 price target on Boingo Wireless Inc (NASDAQ: WIFI). In the report, D.A. Davidson noted, "WIFI will report Q4 results after the market close...
guardian.co.uk  Feb 26  Comment 
Government to build more lines, increase speed of journeys, introduce wireless networks in stations and train surly frontline staff in ‘soft skills’ India has said it will spend £88bn to modernise its crumbling railways, pledging to restore...
Forbes  Feb 25  Comment 
Both consumers and Gogo executives are breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning with news that Delta Air Lines is committing to upgrading both its domestic and international fleet with next-generation WiFi technology. Internationally,...
Reuters  Feb 25  Comment 
Hewlett-Packard Co is in talks to buy wifi network gear maker Aruba Networks Inc and a deal may be announced as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of...




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Wireless networking is a type of wireless communications technology which conforms to the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standards. It operates over unlicensed frequencies (those which do not require a permit from the FCC or other similar regulatory agencies) and typically over short ranges (hundreds of feet).

It was originally popularized by laptops, and has made its way into smart phones, but mobile phones and mobile broadband operating over cellular networks represent a different family of technology. Other devices taking advantage of wireless include point of sale computers and cash registers, and inventory management devices such as handheld barcode scanners found in retail establishments and warehouses.

Wireless networks are generally provided by wireless access points connected to a wired network via a network cable. (The consumer-oriented wireless router also acts as a hub for a broadband Internet connection.) Mesh networking allows wireless access points to connect to each other without a network cable. Ad hoc wireless networks allow computers and other mobile devices to connect to each other without a wireless access point; these are not yet technologically mature and difficult to set up, but recent standards (from early 2010) may help address that.

Developments

The IEEE 802.11n wireless networking standard was finalized in 2009. It improves the data rates and coverage which wireless networking equipment can support.

Voice over WiFi ("VoFi"), provided by telephones using VOIP protocols, is being adopted by some companies. Some of these are simply desk phones which use a wireless connection, saving companies from having to manage physical phone lines. Others seek to provide the convenience of a cell phone, but with enterprise phone features (such as directories, conferencing, the ability to transfer calls, voicemail) under local control, and with potential cost savings. In a demonstration of wireless convergence, some VoFi phones can transition between a wireless LAN and a cellular phone link.

Affected companies

Wireless networking hardware

Cisco is the largest player in the wireless networking space by market share. Aruba Networks and Meru Networks vie for second place.

Hotspot providers

Wireless hotspot providers offer wireless networking in select locations. Independent hotspot providers have faced serious competition from mobile broadband, which has much broader coverage. Hotspots may continue to serve as a useful component of a broader telecom portfolio, but independent hotspot service is likely to remain a niche service offered in limited venues (most notably airports).

Free hotspots are also offered by various cafes or similar venues as an enticement for customers to visit. Panera is one chain offers free wireless service. In a combination of these two trends, Starbucks offers AT&T wireless in some of its stores in a partnership; Starbucks customers receive limited free service, and AT&T residential broadband customers can access unlimited service.

Pilot projects have brought hotspots to certain public transportation markets; these typically use a backhaul service such as WiMaX distributed to passengers over WiFi.

Other

The wireless networking space is also relevant to:

  • any laptop computer manufacturer
  • any smart phone manufacturer
  • any tablet computer manufacturer
  • companies producing wireless-enabled retail equipment
    • Motorola offers wireless devices such as handheld scanners for retail, but as of March 2010 was considering spinning off that division. (They also make their own access points).
  • companies producing operating systems and programming languages for embedded devices which may use wireless, including:

Losers

New wireless networking technologies may compete with Bluetooth for personal area networks and affect companies which manufacture Bluetooth equipment.

When wireless networking is deployed to replace wired networking, companies may lose out:

  • Cable-manufacturer Belden, who makes network cables, bought Trapeze Networks to guard against this possibility.
  • Cisco has a wireless networking division; however, if wireless is deployed to replace a wired network, they lose out on revenues from their wired networking division.
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