Prepare Your Enterprise For WiMax - InformationWeek

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1/17/2006
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Prepare Your Enterprise For WiMax

Here's what you need to know and do to prepare your network for the next wave in wireless networking.

Joshua Estrin, president and CEO of Concepts In Success, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., recommends companies:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of WiMax, its planned uses for the company, what it can and cannot do, and some basic information (in lay terms) of what the technology is and how it works.
  • Test your environment. Though WiMax is supposed to eliminate "dead zones" that can afflict WiFi, only time will tell if it can communicate effectively in all environments or if parts of or entire buildings of certain compositions or in certain locations can't receive the WiMax signal.
  • If you convert to WiMax, particularly if you have people using it from remote locations, make sure that all files are backed up in case a transmission doesn't reach its expected destination. Files should also be backed up to a on-site device to protect the company from information loss if a laptop or other portable handheld device is lost or stolen.
  • Operate in a dual environment (non-WiMax and WiMax) until you're sure conversion to WiMax makes sense for your company. Even in those instances, Estrin recommends converting in stages, rather than a full-scale, one-step solution.

Bruce Gustafson, director of WiMax marketing, Nortel Networks, Toronto also recommends:

  • Think today about how security will be addressed, even if you have no immediate plans to use WiMax. In a couple of years Intel intends to produce laptops with embedded WiFi and WiMax capabilities. So company employees working remotely will be able to use WiMax even if the company doesn't directly support it.
  • Discuss contractual service agreements with the WiMax provider. Look for features including quality of service, VPN capabilities, etc.
  • Look at the company's current network connections. If WiFi meets all of your needs, you may not need WiMax.
  • Know the spectrum the WiMax provider will offer service. This is important if workers travel overseas, where WiMax may not be offered in the same spectrum.

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