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Taking Advantage of Wide-Area Wireless


Cellular providers are in a high-stakes race with wimax and Wi-Fi proponents, each seeking to dominate the transition from today's 3G services to next decade's 4G technologies. This jockeying is nothing new--over the past decade, a heady cycle of reinvention and evolution has propelled about one new wide-area wireless technology down the pike every year. Ardis, Mobitex, CDPD, Ricochet, GPRS, 1xRTT, EDGE, 1xEV-DO, UMTS, HSDPA ... all tried to capture the fancy of mobile users--and the dollars of enterprise IT groups tasked with keeping those mobile users productive.

This time, IT should be in the driver's seat. Rather than taking what your service providers are offering, consider your requirements. We've got the information you need to plan for the next wave of wide-area wireless.

To start with, architecting a comprehensive wireless access strategy goes beyond choosing an operator. You must consider what types of devices to use, whether to employ mobile/wireless middleware, how to manage mobile computers and their configurations in the field, and how to implement security. We help with the device decision in our comparative review of 3G-enabled notebooks (see Justification involves a careful examination of the job function being performed and how it might change with mobile access to enterprise data. In addition, supporting mobile systems in the field requires expertise that many organizations are only beginning to acquire.

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