In the market for… Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi may be all around us, but there is a huge amount to consider when deploying it for
business use, as Sam Fenwick discovers

As telent’s CTO Paul Dobbins says, “the challenge of Wi-Fi is that everybody thinks they can do it because you just deploy a few access points and you’ve got it, we’ve all done it at home. That’s true, but the service you get out of it is directly proportional to the quality of the network’s design and the product that you’ve procured.”

Dobbins adds that cloud-managed Wi-Fi is “becoming popular” and highlights its ease of deployment. He says it is well suited to “a retail operation where you don’t really have much of a technical department”.

Chetan Hebbalae, senior director of product management at Cambium Networks, says: “A cloud-first network eliminates the need for a hardware controller, offering global economies of scale, and significantly reducing the cost and time to market, making it very easy to get network equipment up and running. Gone are the requirements to host a cumbersome rack-based controller with its associated space and power requirements. The cloud delivers scale and redundancy, making the control and management function highly available. In our cloud-based system, the Wi-Fi APs are semi-autonomous, making local decisions as in the case of Wi-Fi mobility, aka ‘roaming’, so control communication latencies are reduced and the network is robust enough to run even if the cloud were unavailable. Another factor is the ability to ‘rent’ the controller. The cloud design makes it naturally possible to move to a subscription model, so Wi-Fi customers can save on capital costs in terms of controller purchases.”

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