All this changed in 2007: the first iPhone triggered a still-growing surge of mobile devices, with users now having two, three or more personal Wi-Fi devices, and using them on the go for voice and video calls, streaming media and other demanding applications. And typically these are personally-owned devices.
WLAN infrastructures have to support many more connections, users, and traffic; they have to be able to adapt to both continuously streaming applications as well as those requiring frequent but brief updates, such as Facebook postings or tweets. Many applications may be making constant authentication requests, requiring the network's backend to be able to scale to handle this, notes Aruba's Dondurmacioglu.
In a recent survey of North American enterprises, Aruba found that 40% of respondents are replacing wired Ethernet ports with Wi-Fi, as the primary connection medium. Nearly one in four say they're replacing wired projectors in classrooms and conference rooms with Apple TV boxes that interconnect iPads and iPhones and Macs with flat panel TVs. An equal number say they're shifting from wired VoIP phones on the desktop to a Wi-Fi-based Unified Communications platform.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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