Research firm Current Analysis has placed security to the fore in its report on Enterprise WLAN, which identifies key trends in the segment and highlights vendor strengths and weaknesses.
Current Analysis has issued a report on Enterprise WLAN, which identifies key trends in the segment and highlights vendor strengths and weaknesses.
Chief among these is the growing impact of security on the business. The company says that while 802.11i and WPA2 have reached the market, vendors are dragging their heels in adopting the 802.11i standard. The firm maintains that WPA2 is a strong security standard, but insists vendors must move quickly to implement support and certify their products to ensure this standard becomes widely adopted.
The firm also predicts that dense wireless deployments will become more significant in the future.
“When Aruba first introduced its Grid Networking architecture, the concept of high density WLANs was cost prohibitive,” says Joel Conover, principal analyst for enterprise infrastructure at Current Analysis.
“With prices of access points on the continual decline, and the demand for seamless mobility on the rise thanks to VoIP over wireless, density now becomes an increasingly critical factor to consider in enterprise wireless LAN deployments. Dense networks provide for better location tracking and more power efficiency at the handheld device,” he explains.
Current Analysis has also singled out partnership and acquisitions as key in the wireless business. It says that the ‘first round’ was completed with Cisco buying Airespace and Siemens buying Chantry.
“The resulting shift in the market opened up new opportunities for competitors like Trapeze and Aruba, which have solidified their positions in the market by partnering with major VoIP vendors including Nortel and Alcatel,” says Conover.
Current Analysis says that security and silicon integration will prove to be important short term market drivers. It says more integrated tri-mode chipsets reaching the market in volume will lead to a dramatic price drop in tri-mode access points.
In the longer term, the company sees widespread consumer WLAN adoption and VoIP Over WLAN as key drivers.
“When 802.11 and cellular technologies finally merge in a harmonious fashion, the demand for WLAN in the enterprise will soar. This technology has already been demonstrated, but the market still suffers from a lack of widely available products and complementary back-end solutions,” says Conover.