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So many clients, so little time

Jun 30, 20032 mins
Cellular NetworksMobileNetwork Security

* Needed: Guidelines for wireless client deployment

One of my favorite topics is the looming convergence of not only voice and data on corporate networks, but also of wired and wireless networks. Currently, it seems, we’ve got lots of piece parts floating around, but lack a structured, best-practices approach to reining them all in. Individual enterprises need to be able to create a plan for the types of products they will buy and for which users they will buy them, so they don’t end up with unmanageable (and expensive) client-device overkill.

Specifically, there are so many client devices emerging that overlap in functionality, that certain cross-sections of enterprise knowledge workers could theoretically end up with a bucket full of wired voice-over-IP handsets, softphones, wireless 802.11 VoIP phones, desktop TDM phones, cell phones, and PDAs with communications capabilities. How many ways, really, are necessary to make a simple phone call?

I was reminded of this issue when MobileAccess Networks made an announcement earlier this month that at least takes a first step toward creating some structure. The company has built an enterprise “wireless infrastructure cabling plant” – hang on a minute – which starts with a chassis that converges all types of indoor wireless signals, including 802.11-based wireless LANs, paging and cellular technologies.

This base unit conditions wireless signals for better indoor reception, aggregates them all and distributes them across a fiber-optic backbone and coaxial cabling to wiring closet devices, where they are spewed out of an RF port local to the place of reception. The company notes that its goal is to lay down a foundation for the convergence of wireless technologies within the enterprise.

Still, it’s up to other minds to figure out which technologies and devices should be distributed to whom. A bit more on this issue next time.