Wireless Internet access
“People move. Networks don’t”.
Over the past years, the world has become increasingly mobile. As a result, traditional ways of networking the world have proven inadequate to meet the challenges posed by our new collective lifestyle.
Wireless networking is one of the most exciting developments in the last few years, because it lets computers fit better into our lives. As evidence of that, laptop sales have recently outstripped desktop computer sales. Suddenly, with the addition of two inexpensive pieces of hardware (the wireless network card and an access point) the laptop can be used anywhere within range of the access point while enjoying Internet connectivity.
The advantages of the wireless networks over the fixed (“wired”) networks:
• Mobility – enabling users to access data while in motion leads to large productivity gains
• Ease and speed of deployment – covers areas difficult to wire. Once the wireless infrastructure is built, adding a user to the wireless network is mostly a matter of authorization.
• Flexibility – allows users to quickly form small group networks for a meeting. This is the big selling point for the “hot-spot” market composed by mainly of hotels, airports, train stations, libraries, cafes. There are no cables to pull, connect or trip over.
• Cost – in some cases, using wireless technology can reduce costs.
With a wireless connection, employees can enjoy full access to their network-based applications and data, enabling them to work from a wide variety of locations within range of an access point. Therefore, workers can stay connected and be fully productive from almost anywhere. A November 2003 study by NOP World, one of the world's largest research and business information companies, found that wireless LANs boosted employee productivity by an average of 27 percent. Taking into account the reported employee average daily timesavings and hourly wages, the average total value of time saved resulting from wireless LAN use totals about $14,000US annually per employee.
Among public places, hotels recognized the pressing needs of their guests to connect to the Internet. Wiring each room is an expensive route for the hotels and most of the time the connections are too slow. Many travelers are increasingly making plans based on where they can find high-speed access. More recently, some hotels have partnered with a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) like Wayport or STSN to offer in-room wireless Internet access.
Research suggests that 97% of mobile professionals will choose to stay in a hotel with high-speed Internet access. It is estimated that offering high-speed Internet access in guest rooms and conference rooms will increase hotel’s revenue by 1%, 21 days a month.