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How to buy Wi-Fi

Delivering a successful Wi-Fi network means getting the basics right in terms of design, management and features and then enhancing performance through value-added applications, as James Atkinson reports

Wi-Fi seems to be almost everywhere these days and demand continues to increase, as David Goff, head of enterprise networks at Cisco UK&I, observes. “There’s a huge array of personal devices, IoT and other mission-critical applications that organisations of all kinds rely on that are dependent on wireless technologies.

“More than 600 million mobile devices and connections were added in 2017, according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index. And it keeps on growing – the volume of mobile data traffic is expected to grow up to four times in the next four years,” says Goff.

That capacity issue is clearly something Wi-Fi providers need to watch out for, but if they want to provide a good-quality experience they still need to address the basics, starting with why they are investing in Wi-Fi in the first place.

“Is it a nice-to-have or is it fundamental to the core purpose of the business or organisation?” asks Steve Johnson, regional director, Northern Europe at Ruckus Wireless. “Once you have made a decision about who, why and what you are connecting, then the decision-making becomes a lot easier.”

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