Ready to VOW

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The year 2009 witnessed an overall decrease in the IT spendings. Enterprises

have put on hold their decisions for technology uptake. However, the WLAN market

during 2009 was quite stable, and many organizations did a rethink about their

future growth strategy and looked at the new cost efficient wireless options.

The enterprise WLAN market increased by more than 15% over the previous year.

The enterprise WLAN revenues have been on a rising route during Q3, courtesy of

a stronger demand in 802.11n based access points. At the same time, leveraged

demand drove an increase in the size of WLAN deployments.


Making a Buzz

WLAN is becoming the preferred medium of network access, and more and more
enterprises are considering the use of secure WLAN as a preferred access method

to connect desktops, laptops, printers and all kinds of end devices. An all

wireless network uses wireless MESH technology at the network distribution and

access layers, thereby providing considerable savings on wiring and the cost of

maintenance coupled with the resiliency and security mechanism. It is becoming a

big trend especially for the green field deployments.

Expert Panel

Subhashini Prabhakar, CTM, Dax Networks

Sanjay Virnave, president, sales, Tulip Telecom

Prem Nitihin, senior technical consultant, Cisco, India and SAARC

Ashok Sara, product marketing manager, extreme networks, Motorola

There has been a substantial amount of innovation and integration of wireless

intrusion detection and prevention capabilities in the WLAN solution. With 802.1

and WPA2 encryption, WLAN provides a high level of security. Purpose built

sensors for wireless intrusion detection and prevention work in conjunction with

a dedicated wireless IP appliance.


Another emerging technology in this segment is IEEE 802.11n. This solution

will operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz radio band, offering a backward compatibility

with the pre-existing 802.11 a/b/g deployments. The three primary innovations

are MIMO (multiple input and multiple output) technology, packet aggregations

and channel bonding. Together these techniques allow 802.11n solutions to

achieve a five-fold performance enhancement over the current 802.11a/b/g.

VoWLAN is the next big technology in the pipeline. It requires a voice

enabled wireless device, most commonly a PDA or a Wi-Fi handset, which looks and

operates like a cellphone, but sends voice as a discrete data packet rather than

an analog voice stream. The VoWLAN system allows all regular functions and

messaging applications available on wired phones to be available on the VoWLAN


Concerns of CIOs

Wireless LAN, while replete with the convenience and advantages, has its

share of concerns as well. Issues such as security, quality of service, range

reliability and speed are often raised by enterprises.


However, most network analysis vendors offer WLAN troubleshooting tolls or

functionalities as part of their product line. Wireless LANs present a host of

issues for network managers. Many enterprises offer security features like 128

bit WEP and WPA that can scramble for encrypt network traffic so that their

content cannot be easily deciphered by snoopers. Likewise, wireless routers and

access points incorporate access control features such as MAC address filtering

that deny network requests from unwanted clients. There are other security

mechanisms that may be built into the corporate wireless network systems.

Top Developments

  • Standardization of 802.11n and the high bandwidth

    and high speed networks holding immense possibilities for users
  • Evolution of security standards towards a mandatory

    regime to ensure the protection of customer data
  • Availability of WLAN switches that enable

    interoperability across WWAN, WLAN and emerging technologies such as WiMax
  • Fixed mobility convergence, and the availability of

    user end devices as well as switches as strong enablers

This includes 24x7 intrusion detection and prevention, real-time wireless RF

environment monitoring and automated alerts, amortizing the cost of wireless

infrastructure across a number of mobility applications including data. Voice

and video, a single vendor management platform that can manage the entire

spectrum of mobility, right from wireless network elements to hand-helds are

some of the other major concerns raised by enterprises.


Green In Demand

Cost effective IT solutions that embrace environmental responsibility are in

demand as organizations start to reduce their carbon footprint. Solutions that

are quick to implement, require little or no capital investment, are

environmentally beneficial and deliver an immediate and quantifiable financial

return are highly valued. Organizations are looking for solutions that deliver

measurable savings for the wireless networks and support their green


Intelligent control measures can help in creating a culture of sustainable

business. These measures and tools improve operational efficiencies and reduce

the energy consumption of wireless networks. By implementing these measures, an

enterprise can gain momentum for its green IT initiatives.

Tips For Network Managers

  • There is no shortcut for proper pre-deployment RF

    survey, planning and validation
  • Insist on purpose built RF modeling tolls to

    predict the behavior of RF networks at the site even before deployments
  • Leverage the next generation WLAN controller based

    architecture for easy plug-n-play deployment and easy management
  • Ensure multiple levels of security
  • Integrated sensors and access point to lower TCO
  • The legacy clients to be segregated on 2.4 GHz, and

    802.11n clients can use the 5 GHz band for an optimum performance
  • Maximizing the network performance and minimizing

    network downtime
  • Keeping device setting 'in step' throughout the

    wireless network despite the ever-changing requirements
  • Evaluate carefully the TCO of a solution before

    making a decision. Also ensure that it is scalable and modular in design

    for growth and delivers high performance

Realizing the needs, players in this space are coming out with green

solutions to fulfill the growing demands of enterprises. For the wireless

networks, Cisco offers adaptive power management capabilities that are built

into the Cisco unified wireless network through its management platform wireless

control system. This solution allows the organization to shrink its carbon

footprint immediately by reducing the energy usage and operational expenses.

Motorola has designed integrated sensors and access points in a single

device. The wideband radio is purpose-built for sensors, and eliminates the need

for two devices to provide the same level of secure WLAN. This not only saves

costs, but also saves energy and cabling costs.


The greatest challenge in wireless project implementation is the line of the

sight. Generally, radio signals require a clear path between antennas. The first

condition for the LOS link is that the two antennas can be connected with an

imaginary straight string. No object should block this line. Achieving this with

a short link is fairly easy. Moreover, in order to cover large distances, a

great height is needed. So, tower erection increases the implementation costs.

The second challenge is wireless management. As enterprises move to

capitalize on the benefits of wireless networking, the need for cost effective

WLAN management tools becomes acute.

Arpita Prem