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Technology holds endless opportunities for all

We live in a time in which technology can't be ignored, to the point that you're probably making use of it and aren't even aware of the fact. It has made our lives easier, providing solutions for personal and business purposes and while there is a plethora of technologies moving and shaking the industry, one such technology that is growing at a rapid pace is wi-fi.
You have probably heard of wi-fi but aren't quite sure what it means and what it can do for you and this needs to change quickly.

If we consider that the number of wi-fi connections will equal or surpass all other types of network connectivity in 2012, range and speeds will double and the average number of wi-fi-enabled devices per person will reach three by the end of the year - it is evident that wi-fi is becoming an important technology. The reason for this growth is because wi-fi has proven to be the solution that works for everyone and, finally, the possibilities of wi-fi are coming to the fore as consumers, enterprises and operators alike become more aware of the dynamics that this spectrum provides.

Sick and tired of unstable connections

In the enterprise space, users are sick and tired of unstable connections, dropped packets and erratic performance. They need a smarter wireless LAN (WLAN) system that provides way better coverage, capacity, and reliability. They need wireless that works with the growth of mobile as smart devices are becoming mandatory for employee productivity and the need for hardware to deliver higher capacity has become a requirement in the network. Further, as more applications proliferate to increase productivity, such as video, VoIP, large file transfers, etc., the need for higher speed networks has become necessary and there is now a huge demand by enterprises for the use of diverse technology using advanced wi-fi. In line with this, enterprises - big and small - want all the bells and whistles of high-end WLAN, in a system that's more affordable and easier to deploy and manage. Wi-fi does it all.

We have also seen the education system embrace this technology by installing wireless infrastructure, as schools, colleges, and universities are all challenged to move up to higher-speed, more reliable wi-fi. Ultimately, they want strong security, killer coverage and connections that don't drop. For instance, with the right infrastructure students can access the school's online portal where the teacher has posted their homework; this also allows their parents to keep track of their children's homework. We have already started seeing some schools make use of tablets that have the syllabus' applications installed, which allows students to participate actively in the learning process. Tablet technology started with private schools and now we're starting to see state schools show interest in tablets and wi-fi. This is where learning is moving towards as it is a practical solution that benefits all parties involved.

Cost-effective access at your fingertips

This, of course, leads to the natural progress of impacting you, the consumer. We all want to live in smart wi-fi cities and be able to access the Internet anywhere we want to and at any time - in a cost-effective manner. Devices that are able to enjoy the benefits of wi-fi include personal computers, video-game consoles, smartphones, tablets, and even digital audio players through the use of hot spots and access points - imagine the ease and flexibility, with cost-effective access at your fingertips. However, with the growth in such a need for data access, operators and providers are struggling to keep up with the demand. Wi-fi is hailed as the solution for decongesting the mobile networks for a more customer-friendly experience with no dropped calls. Can you imagine?

These are the possibilities that wi-fi is making a reality today. From industries and businesses to how we go about our everyday lives - it's little wonder that wi-fi is a small technology making a big impact - and a need to know technology for today and well into the future.

About the author

Michael Fletcher is the sales director of Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa.