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The Year Of High-Speed Wireless Data Access

Whatever else it may become known for, 2005 will be known as the year of high-speed wireless data access. Both 3G and Wi-Fi are on the verge of entering mainstream enterprise computing, and we're all the better for it.

The technologies are complementary, rather than competing, although there will be issues in deploying both simultaneously. With 3G high-speed data access, a laptop-equipped employee can have access to data wherever he is. With Wi-Fi, of course, the employee will need to be near a hot spot or his enterprise Wi-Fi network.

Should an enterprise standardize on one or the other? How about both? And if it does standardize on both, how does one equip laptops, with a 3G card, a Wi-Fi card, or possibly a combo card? Do you leave the choice up to users?

These are just a few of the questions you're going to struggle with in the coming year. You don't have a choice - you have to deploy one or both. Network administrators need to embrace always-available high-speed data access, such as 3G and Wi-Fi. Users are going to be using the technology, whether administrators like it or not. If administrators take the lead in deploying it, they'll at least take control. They shouldn't try to stand in the way, because high-speed mobile data access is a must-have, and it's coming their way. They can either get on the train or get run over.