Right after the New Year end users will return to the office with new mobile devices equipped with much better antennas. A few days after that, MSPs should expect to start receiving calls from customers complaining about wireless network performance. Here's what Qualcomm is planning to do about it.

Mike Vizard, Contributing Editor

December 3, 2014

2 Min Read
Rishi Grover director of product management for Qualcomm Atheros
Rishi Grover, director of product management for Qualcomm Atheros

With wireless networks becoming the primary network now in use inside most enterprise IT organizations, technology advances that promise to simplify the deployment of wireless access points are critical to MSPs of all sizes. Qualcomm Atheros, a unit of Qualcomm (QCOM), today unveiled a new reference design for wireless access points that is both three times faster than previous generations of access points, while also capable of supporting hundreds of devices.

The reference design is based on a Qualcomm Internet Processor (IPQ) and the Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac wireless networks configured with MU-MIMO technology that enables access points to support many more simultaneous connections. Rishi Grover, director of product management for Qualcomm Atheros, said MSPs should expect to begin seeing enterprise IT organizations deploying a whole new generation of more efficient wireless access points in 2015.

Driving much of that adoption is the simple fact that end users are now carrying multiple mobile computing devices that are often simultaneously connected to the network. Most of the existing wireless access points deployed inside these organizations were originally deployed as a secondary network designed to support occasional wireless usage. Now IT organizations and the MSPs that often manage these networks on behalf of customers are being forced to upgrade networks that were never designed to support three or more mobile computing devices per employee.

Next generation wireless networks are based on MIMO technology that allow antennas to support a much larger number of devices per wireless access point. These have been a long time in coming to the enterprise. But Grover says advances such as IPQ will help bring the price points for MIMO-compatible wireless access points into the realm of something that is perceived to be affordable by the average IT organization.

The end result should be a lot fewer management headaches for MSPs as the both the number of access points that need to be managed declines alongside complaints about the performance of the wireless network.

In the meantime, right after the New Year end users will be arriving back in the office with all manner of new mobile computing devices that will be configured with antennas that are much stronger than those of the previous generation of mobile computing devices. A few days after that, MSPs should expect to start receiving phone calls complaining about wireless network performance. And that will eventually lead to a conversation about the need to finally upgrade those networks before people stop coming into the office altogether.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Vizard

Contributing Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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