The good ship Wi-Fi has already sailed. We are too far down the wireless-only path to ever turn back and re-shackle ourselves to ethernet cables. We don’t have to turn to analysis to intuitively understand why our present network access is already predominantly wireless (the workplace is catching up), and our future will be an all-wireless user experience.
With 802.11ac wave 2 speeds, you can now seriously consider deploying a wireless-centric network. It took ethernet over twenty years to become the primary network access method, Wi-Fi is achieving network access primacy in a decade. Wireless network access expectations have become comparable with wired networks. Users assume the same performance and reliability they’ve always had with ethernet cabled connectivity.
About now those with a background in Wi-Fi design and 802.11/wireless engineering principles are waiting for some kind of validation. This is hard. There are many more variables that go into an optimal network design in the wireless world.
Making wireless the primary network requires great care in making the right design and planning decisions. I’ll come out and say it – let me disabuse you of any notions of throwing APs around your workplace, running through a setup wizard then throwing your network cables away.
We all dream of a future where wireless vendors release APs that apply artificial intelligence to dynamically learning and adjusting for radio frequency interference and noise sources. This intelligence exists in nascent form in enterprise grade APs available today.
AI is lovely sure, and it all helps, but back to reality. Using open air (an unbounded medium) as we do for wireless connectivity is complex. Then using this unbounded medium with expectations of an ethernet cabled (bounded medium) equivalent experience is quite the big call. Yet for a wireless-first network – that’s exactly what we are proposing and designing for.