strategic reliance on networking among competitive businesses and the
meteoric growth of the Internet and online services are strong testimonies
to the benefits of shared data and shared resources. With wireless LANs,
users can access shared information without looking for a place to plug
in, and network managers can set up or augment networks without installing
or moving wires. Wireless LANs offer the following productivity, service,
convenience, and cost advantages over traditional wired networks:
- Mobility-Wireless LAN
systems can provide LAN users with access to real-time information
anywhere in their organization. This mobility supports productivity
and service opportunities not possible with wired networks.
- Installation Speed and
Simplicity-Installing a wireless LAN system can be fast and easy
and can eliminate the need to pull cable through walls and ceilings.
- Installation Flexibility-Wireless
technology allows the network to go where wire cannot go.
- Reduced Cost-of-Ownership-While
the initial investment required for wireless LAN hardware can
be higher than the cost of wired LAN hardware, overall installation
expenses and life-cycle costs can be significantly lower. Long-term
cost benefits are greatest in dynamic environments requiring
frequent moves, adds, and changes.
LAN systems can be configured in a variety of topologies to meet
the needs of specific applications and installations. Configurations
are easily changed and range from peer-to-peer networks suitable
for a small number of users to full infrastructure networks of
thousands of users that allows roaming over a broad area.
Next: "Technology Options"