Re: No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
I think you may have misinterpreted my stance on this. :) I never said that I would drop a cheap AP onto a network serving POS(Point of Sale) systems used by retail outlets. I was just making the point that a cheap broadband connection and a cheap AP can serve small locations just fine. The cost associated with that is simply paying the monthly cable/DSL bill. I am not advocating internal and guest traffic sharing the same Wi-Fi on an AP you would buy at the local brick and mortar retailer(e.g. Best Buy, Target, WalMart).
Small stores don't usually have the technical and financial means to support any sort of wireless infrastructure. If we are talking about a more structured company, that is a different story. The Taco Bell about 2 miles down the road from my house has an AirTight AP right above the cash registers. I am pretty sure that the decision made around that platform was done up in Louisville,KY where the parent company is located. They would have staff that could maintain that type of equipment, whereas a smaller independent retailer would not. The company I work for, which sells for Aerohive, Aruba, and Cisco when it comes to wireless, would not even deal with a small independent retailer since it would cost too much for our services and the amount of money you make selling a single AP isn't worth the effort required to implement it properly(security, coverage/capacity planning, etc).
It always comes down to cost for the smaller retailers, and I don't think a lot of them are interested in paying more than $100 for an AP. They also don't have the time and/or expertise to ensure that system is running the proper security required for PCI compliance.
We're looking at two different kinds of buyers here. There are the kind that buy from you and use VAR's like my employer, and the kind that think Linksys and Netgear are good enough for their customers to check e-mail and browse the web. Of course, I could be wrong. For all I know, there are tons of "mom and pop" retailers with cloud-managed AP's. I just think the majority of the smaller ones would consider the cost of that to be too much just to offer free Wi-Fi to customers.