Report suggests mobile devices will force wireless adoption

Wi-Fi to replace Ethernet within two years

A report has said that wi-fi will start replacing wired Ethernet-based networks within the next two to three years as other wireless devices force change an IT analyst group has said.

The Burton Group suggest that companies who have not moved to a wireless network should begin considering plans to do so as devices increasingly become mobile while still requiring net access.

According to the group, the new 802.11n standard should convince those still using wired networks to begin switching over – especially now that transfer speeds on the wireless networks far exceed their wired counterparts.

"[The new standard] will put pervasive mobility on the fast track," Burton analyst Paul DeBeasi said. "IT professionals should start thinking now about how they will deploy, maintain and benefit from an all-wireless LAN."

"One can analyze the differences between 802.11n and Ethernet with regard to performance, security, manageability, cost and impact on staff," DeBeasi said. "However, the definitive and unalterable competitive advantage that 802.11n has over Ethernet is pervasive mobility."

He however conceded that where absolute stability was required such as in data centres and switch trunks, wired would continue to be the necessary choice for many years to come.

Whether or not wireless will be the all out successor to wired Ethernet networks as the report suggests remains to be seen with another product, Powerline, which utilises the power network in homes and offices to run a network, claiming to be just as effective when being used on fixed line devices.

It may well be the case that wireless networking remains the domain of mobility while other ‘fixed’ networking solutions take over the job on networks.

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