As a child, it was impossible to live without “the wire”, whether this wire was to provide a feed into your television or to allow you a connection to the outside world via your phone. There was no Internet for consumer use at this stage....yes, I do feel old.
As we progressed into the Internet era, your landline “wire” became all the more valuable as it also often acted as your main connection into the Internet (yes, for those under 30, we used dial-up Internet access). As we approached the late 90’s, Internet access became more readily available using wireless technology (namely cellular networks for most people, satellite for others), but the speeds were often too slow to allow for any meaningful traffic.......How times have changed!
The wide availability of cellular networks combined with the super high speeds that are available have made it possible to “cut the wire” (meaning to go with wirelessly only connections, even in places where landline might be available). So.....have you cut the wire yet?
Advantages to “cutting the wire”
In a perfect world, landline connection could be installed in minutes. The reality is that while wireless connections can be installed in minutes, landline connections can take many weeks to install. This downtime costs you and your business money, plain and simple.
If your office/work area is quite small, it is quite feasible that you can have a landline connection moved to wherever you need. However, if your work location is quite big, traditional landlines can be quite limiting in placement, meaning that it costs you big to have the connection where you want. For the most part, wireless allows for a much better placement of use, providing that cellular coverage is not an issue.
One of the issues that landline has is that the wire only goes so far and is not very mobile.....Wireless connections allow for usage in many areas, including in a mobile environment. People are able to bring their connection with them, whether it be to a customer location or even to the cottage when they are “pretending” to be at the office!
Major objections to going wireless:
“Wireless is not fast enough”.....Up until recently, this was a very valid objection. Many businesses needed a T1 line connection speeds or better, and this wasn’t possible on wireless. With the widespread introduction of HSPA, and now LTE, speeds on wireless networks often exceed their landline line equivalent, even while mobile.
“The latency is too long”....while this is an area where wireline networks still outperform their wireless counterparts, the latencies on wireless networks have improved dramatically with each new generation. LTE offers an experience that provides such little latency that it rarely affects applications.
“Wireless doesn’t fit into our network architecture”. Again, this was a valid complaint for a long time, as monitoring wireless connections was not practical using most Enterprise IT tools. Now, wireless carriers offer many services to make this happen, including allowing for Network extensions and managed services to make wireless a seamless part of an enterprise network.
“It cost too much”. Again, from a straight “apples to apples” comparison, wireless is often more expensive than its wireline counterpart. However, one does need to factor in things such as speed of deployment (wireless devices cuts down deployment time and are more simple to deploy), allow for more flexible deployments (cutting down on expensive on-site connections to the demarcation point) and allow connections to be moved between sites during downtime (reducing the overall number of connections for many customers).
“Wireless is not reliable enough”. For this statement, one only has to look at the different industries who currently widely use wireless communication as a primary connection. Wireless connections provide communication for such high-priority assets as: Oil and gas wells, pipelines, Hydro meters, traffic lights and police cars. These industries have all done extensive deployments and find that wireless allows them to run their business in a manner that is reliable as landline.
In short, you should feel confident to “cut the wire”!