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Nearly 70 per cent of UK enterprise is not interested in wireless networking, reveals shocking study

A massive 68 per cent of UK enterprises have no plan to reduce the amount of wire in their corporate networks within the next 12 months, a Computing study has revealed.

Flying in the face of many perceived notions about flexible working and connected enterprise landscapes, the findings raise serious questions about the reality of wireless in UK businesses, as well as the level of trust felt by IT administrators and end users alike.

Only 12 percent of the 120 IT decision makers polled replied they would be introducing more wireless into their organisation within the year, while 20 per cent revealed they “don’t know”.

Further, 45 per cent of organisations have no plans to upgrade their existing Wi-Fi in the near future, either, with a third of respondents pointing out that their organisations had made no investment in Wi-Fi infrastructure for the past two years or even longer.

An analysis of pain points goes some way to showing where system managers’ concerns with wireless may lie, with 49 per cent reporting “dead zones” on Wi-Fi, 28 per cent reporting regular call dropouts and 27 per cent saying temporary – or even permanent – drops in application performance can be attributed to wireless issues.

Low bandwidth complaints only account for 19 per cent of reported network issues, but this is still a significantly large portion of enterprises, particularly as the paper also reveals that 55 per cent of organisations are still using “just good enough” Wi-Fi technology on 802.11a/b/g or 802.11n industry standards on the majority of their business-wide connections.

“The consumer market also leads in switching from wired to wireless altogether, due mainly to the universal provision of a free Wi-Fi router with every new broadband contract,” adds the report.

“The enterprise doesn’t have that luxury. Most will also have made significant investments in structured cabling and still need wire to provide reliable, high bandwidth connectivity over longer distances. As a result, a mere 12 percent of those companies polled said they were planning any significant reduction in wired connectivity over the coming year.”

The Computing research paper Next-generation Wi-FI: enterprise prince or bandwidth frog?” is produced in association with NetScout, and will be published in full very soon. In the meantime, keep up to date with the latest news in unified communications and networking by visiting our UCC Spotlight channel.

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