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The State of Wireless Networking

increasing Wi-Fi's popularity and reducing prices. Although early wireless gateways were of notoriously poor quality, vendors eventually got it right. But enterprise adoption didn't follow as quickly as we predicted, and that's probably a good thing. In fact, organizations that jumped too fast likely have legacy equipment that fails to meet their needs and constrains their upgrade options. Like most emerging network technologies, the longer you wait, the easier they become.

Of course, for some organizations, especially those with stringent security requirements, wireless is persona non grata. These sites have strict "Wi-Fi prohibited" policies, and they monitor the airwaves to ensure compliance.

On the other end of the spectrum are companies in key vertical markets, like logistics, retail, education and health care, that often see wireless as the most strategic element of their IT infrastructures, offering compelling ROI. They have no choice but to step up and address the myriad issues with enterprise wireless, and to a large degree, they have (for a look inside some of these companies, see "Wi-Fi All-Stars,").

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Most organizations find themselves somewhere in that awkward "in between" stage.

Stuck in the Middle With You

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