There is fertile ground for 802.11n adoption in the small to medium-sized business market if vendors can find the right channels to reach those companies, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The report, titled "IEEE 802.11n Update, Forecast, and Vendor Evaluation," said nearly a million small businesses are good candidates for early adoption.
ABI said small businesses tend to buy small numbers of devices and trade them in more often than larger enterprises. Additionally, the research firm said smaller enterprises are less knowledgeable about technology and standards than companies with dedicated IT personnel.
"The result is that small businesses are likely to buy 802.11n products while they are in draft status and deploy them immediately," ABI VP Stan Schatt said in a statement.
Those in the retail, real estate, warehousing, and transportation industries are particularly good candidates for 802.11n, ABI said. For some warehouse operators, other Wi-Fi standards can cause interference. For retail and real estate, 802.11n can be used for value-added services like free Internet connection and transmitting videos of homes for sale.
One of the major reasons these small businesses will upgrade to the n standard is the PC replacement cycle, ABI said. As computers are updated with the 802.11n standard built in, these SMBs will be prompted to upgrade as well.
Large enterprises may be drawn to the 802.11n wireless standard because it offers higher bandwidth and greater throughput than previous standards, and it could potentially lead to a wire-free office. But the standard is not complete yet, and multiple questions remain about legacy devices and reliability.
InformationWeek took an in-depth look at the pros and cons of 802.11n for enterprise use, and the report can be found here (registration required).