Wireless LAN: Any space, indoor or out

There is no running away from it. Wireless connection is coming whether you are ready or not. Just this year alone, announcements have been made from service providers and hardware vendors on the rolling out of wireless Internet connection in Singapore.

There is no running away from it. Wireless connection is coming whether you are ready or not. Just this year alone (early half of 2001), announcements have been made from service providers and hardware vendors on the rolling out of wireless Internet connection in Singapore.

For laptop users, they will be able to access the Internet at an access speed of 11.1 Mbps whenever they are in the vicinity of UOB Plaza or at Shaw House. This announcement was made by Cisco Networks and Davnet, an international integrated broadband communications provider. According to Davnet, there will be 10 more hot spots in Orchard Road, Raffles Place and Boat Quay within the next four weeks following the launch at Singapore’s UOB Plaza on May 23. In all, 48 wireless hot spots will be set up throughout Singapore by Davnet and will be part of the wired/wireless hot spot coverage under Cisco Internet Mobile Office initiative.

Handheld PC users will not lose out in the wireless access game too. Hewlett-Packard Singapore's Consumer Business Organization (CBO) has teamed up with Bluengine, a wireless broadband Internet service provider, to offer HP Jornada 720 handheld PC users wireless connectivity to the Bluengine broadband network at their hotspots in Singapore as well. If you are not too keen on outdoor wireless lifestyle, you can live it up in a wireless LAN indoor as the radio waves work around office corners as well as around buildings and trees.

Reasons for going wireless

So when should a wireless environment be deploy? According to James Haensly, Chief Technology Officer, Avaya Asia Pacific, any enterprise, regardless of size, can benefit from wireless LANs. There are a number of situations where an enterprise should consider the use of wireless LAN technology.

  • When wiring is difficult and expensive - First, there are environments within an enterprise where wiring is difficult and expensive to install. This includes expensive office, retail, or in some cases manufacturing floor space where the complications of having wiring across the space makes it unattractive financially and aesthetically.
  • Temporary LAN- Second is the use of temporary LANs for special projects or peak times. For example, in the retail industry such as holiday and special promotions, exhibitions, demonstrations, inventory analysis, etc.
  • For Safety reasons- Another consideration is safety. Environments with less wiring means fewer safety hazards. Exposed wiring may pose a danger to workers in some manufacturing environments.
  • Redundancy- Redundancy is often important to businesses that want to create additional reliability for their networks. Wireless LANs provide an alternative backup LAN connection if the primary LAN fails.
  • In addition to the reasons noted above, manufacturing and production facilities often face challenges of size, space, and flexibility. Large, open spaces are ideal environments for wireless LANs because of the challenge of wiring such an environment.

    These companies often create new lines, change existing lines, or make modifications to layouts. A wireless LAN gives a business the simplicity and speeds up the process for creating a network environment. In addition, mobile workers within these environments, such as inventory managers, can stay connected to the network at all times during their workday.

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