We now live in a data-centric, wireless world, and no technology is better suited to address this reality than Wi-Fi.
In many ways it has become a utility. It's like running water or electricity—you expect it to be there, and if you don't have it, you are at a serious quality-of-life disadvantage.
In the case of the business world, lack of reliable Wi-Fi puts you at a serious competitive disadvantage.
This is especially true in hospitality, where we pick hotels based on the quality of the Wi-Fi service. This mega-trend offers enormous opportunity for both enterprises of all types, and some are jumping in more aggressively than others.
Wi-Fi is the perfect solution for the data storm coming from a worldwide infatuation with, and insatiable demand for, more and better wireless data services.
So, what will we see appear in 2015 when it comes to enterprise Wi-Fi?
Top Wi-Fi Trends – 2015 Predictions for the Enterprise
1. 2015 will be the year of 802.11ac
Now that the consumer market and handhelds with 802.11ac technology are common, enterprises, workplaces, organisations and schools are rushing to support it.
The adoption of consumer 802.11ac smart devices combined with the continued growth of BYOD is forcing organisations to migrate to 11ac-supported Wi-Fi infrastructure sooner rather than later.
2. Monetising the WLAN has traditionally meant charging for WLAN usage
Today, organisations have the option to add services such as analytics, location, advertising, and marketing as new forms of monetisation.
These services can greatly benefit the organisation or business to better understand basic things such as WLAN trends, customer movement, and demographics. We will see continued growth of these new ways to monetise Wi-Fi infrastructure investments in 2015.
3. Virtualisation demand
The never-ending drive to cut costs in Data Centres by reducing real estate and facilities expenses continues to drive the demand for virtualisation.
For wireless, virtualisation provides another level of resiliency that is tied into the Data Centre high availability model. Virtualisation also lowers the CAPEX for many technologies, which opens the doors for managed services.
4. Value of the cloud
The cloud will continue to provide Value Added Resellers (VARs) with easy-to-deploy services to customers that prefer 'wireless as a service.'
Small businesses will be able to receive enterprise technology such as location-based services (LBS) and secure guest access.
5. Hotspot technology
Hotspot 2.0 based technology (e.g., Passpoint) will continue to be adopted by vertical markets that provide public Wi-Fi access such as hospitality and transportation, as well as general enterprises.
With Hotspot 2.0, more and more customers will be able to seamlessly and securely roam on Wi-Fi networks.
By Salah Nassar, Senior Manager, Enterprise Product Marketing, Ruckus Wireless