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Wireless Technology

has gained great momentum of late. And with the number of wireless users growing, the number of devices multiplying, and the wireless networking market making big strides, it is an area of communicati...


February 1, 2001  


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has gained great momentum of late. And with the number of wireless users growing, the number of devices multiplying, and the wireless networking market making big strides, it is an area of communications that certainly warrants a thorough examination.

With this in mind, we put together this special “wireless issue” of Cabling Systems, in order to properly scrutinize the wireless arena — from trends to standards — and find answers to such questions as: What does the infiltration of wireless mean for our industry? Is it a full-fledged “revolution” — or just a very loud uprising?

In his article, You say you want a Revolution? (p. 24), Rick Gaskin of 3Com Canada tackles these important issues, and examines the trends and directions in the wireless arena. How has wireless technology brought us to this point — and how far will it take us?

For wireless technology has made great strides of late — not to mention improvements in speed and flexibility. As Bob MacCallum from Stream Intelligent Networks points out in Getting it Fixed (on p. 32), the evolution from pagers to analogue cellular phones to the latest generation of web-enabled PCS phones has changed the ways we work and communicate. And technologies such as fixed wireless and next generation enhancements promise even further changes to our lives.

Yet, with all of the advantages it brings, there are still a variety of concerns and fears surrounding wireless systems. One of the biggest concerns relates to security and interference — i.e., neighbouring wireless networks scooping up sensitive data or bad weather causing undue obstructions. John Williams of Avaya Canada covers these types of concerns in his article entitled Feeling Secure (p. 42).

But what about the larger, more general, concern within our industry, namely whether wireless technology poses a real threat to traditional structured cabling? Most of the experts we spoke to in this issue, including Peter Barnes, president and CEO of the CWTA (and this month’s spotlight interview — p. 58) believe wireless and wired technologies each have their own distinct advantages and uses.

And most think wired and wireless technologies will certainly find a peaceful way to co-exist. In fact, in his article, Living Together (p. 18), journalist Perry Greenbaum investigates both wireless and wired technologies and finds that the two are destined to form a symbiotic relationship and peacefully share the same space. For, as we all know, there are just some areas where wireless data transmission cannot compete with wires — specifically, in the network backbone. With Fast Ethernet and even Gigabit Ethernet moving into the backbone, wireless (while a good alternative to wired networks in certain situations) is not likely to take over any time soon.

And to keep us updated to this end, Cabling Systems has added a new column called Wireless Report (please see p. 46) to its mix. The column, authored by Iain Grant, managing director of technology consulting firm The Yankee Group, will focus on trends, directions, technologies, products — everything you will need to know to stay well-informed and up-to-date on all things wireless.


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