Now Wait for W-WAN
The group's Wireless WAN/LAN corporate survey, which was commissioned by Flarion Technologies, found that 98 percent of respondents would recommend a LAN-like WAN technology to their management. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents expected that such systems could help to lower operational costs, while 48 percent anticipated decreased capital expenditure using a LAN-like system.
So what's a LAN-like wireless WAN experience? Yankee defines it as a network that offers DSL-like speeds (up to 2 Mbit/s) and less than 100 millisecond round-trip delay. The report notes that there are currently no such commercial networks available from mobile operators.
However, the providers of such technology will be familiar to Unstrung readers: Among them are Flarion (natch!), IPWireless Inc., Navini Networks Inc., and ArrayComm Inc.
Typically, these companies offer an IP-based cellular system that use different transmission methods than standard 3G systems, offering higher data-transfer speeds and better spectral efficiency (see Navini's Mobility Move).
Perhaps the demand for higher data speeds and better compatibility with the existing LAN network is not that surprising, considering that 91 percent of survey respondents said they wanted access to specific data from their corporate network.
Today, having this type of capability can require converting legacy applications into a much simpler format, so they can be read on WAP phones or PalmPilots, rather than just pulled off the corporate intranet. An all-IP network – and mobile IP support on the client – will allow easier connectivity with existing wired LAN setups, according to Yankee, although data may still have to be reformatted for a smaller screen size. And of course, download speeds better than 60 kbit/s don't hurt when downloading large files from your company network! However, even though the Yankee survey indicates that there is likely a better future for wireless WAN deployment in the enterprise, wireless LAN is already having its season in the sun. The firm found that over 60 percent of wireless data solution expenditures for 2002 and 2003 are being spent on 802.11.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung