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Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Alexis Argent

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4Gon Discuss 802.xx Based Wireless Solutions and How to Sell Them, With Comms Business Magazine

Alexis Argent, founder and director of 4Gon Solutions, discusses the different available wireless solutions and how to sell them, with Comms Business Magazine.

How can wireless solutions help resellers expand in to this market and build new revenue streams?

Resellers should look to have a broad wireless product range, not just WLANs. What makes wireless solutions such a high potential market, with the capability of replacing the last mile or being used as a failover, in the case of the City Of London, is all the other things they can do. This includes point-to-point links to connect multiple sites together and wireless CCTV cameras, the list goes on.

Maintaining a network is a big responsibility, as with all business communications equipment, when it comes to network and internet access there is virtually zero tolerance for downtime.

If you can do it though, the opportunity to both compliment and displace the traditional LAN is huge, as Wi-Fi is continues to encroach on the cable space. More and more devices are dropping RJ45 (ethernet) ports; meaning wireless is becoming the primary means of access. Wi-Fi is seen as a utility and is needed. People do not expect to have to plug in, people are always coming to our office, unpacking their laptop and asking for the guest Wi-Fi.

What applications are selling well and where?

The products that are best selling are the AC protocol range of goods, access points, point to point links etc. People are keen to take advantage of the AC protocol and the reported 4 times faster throughput available.

An example of 802.ac based solutions include the Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC, an impressive access point which offers a number of key features such as both 2.4 – 5 Ghz frequencies and speeds of up to 1300 Mbps.

The UniFi UAP-AC is a popular model within many industries, particular in hotels and learning environments. The UniFi ACs are ideal for such environments due to their cost effective price, managing software and ease of deployment, meaning in house technical staff can install the products.

There are a lot of new products coming through all the time, so in order to be best placed to take advantage of this, resellers need to pick their distribution partners carefully and choose a distributor that is also willing to support them based on what they believe is going to be fast moving. They also need to do regular research into the market as it is constantly changing.

As wireless solutions become the norm, signal interference, especially in high-density areas, is more of a problem. Products like the Ubiquiti UniFi Outdoor+ Access Point, which has Multi-Lane RF technology to isolate wireless signals and reject RF interference, will do increasingly well.

Security and analytics will become more important as time goes on and enterprise customers will require this on a more regular basis. It’s interesting as this function has been there in some fashion for quite some time, however not everyone has used it. Going forward I expect this will be developed into something that is very much a usable tool.

 

We are also seeing 4G play a bigger part in society. For example the Oklahoma Stillwater Police Department have deployed over 50 Pepwave MAX BR1 4G Routers from Peplink. The BR1 offered Stillwater Police the crucial ability to monitor connection health and signal strength. It was also versatile enough to allow them to lock down their wireless access and manage different SSIDs, fully meeting Federal security requirements. The fleet network is managed via the cloud and Peplink’s InControl2 and Router Utility app. These types of deployments will ultimately increase the impact of 4G.  

What constitutes a BYOD checklist for wireless solutions providers?

Your checklist should include a good hardware manufacturer that supports the latest wireless protocols, and also covers non-legacy wireless protocols (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac). Also desirable is a good distributor that provides useful technical sales advice, fair margins and solid post-sales support.

As wireless evolves, good handover will also become more important, so a wireless client can move around the office or site, and go from access point to access point without any loss of internet or latency issues. The increased mobility wireless solutions deliver is a crucial advantage, so it is essential it works.

Will 4G access impact this wireless market? If so – when?

The 4G landscape is still in the process of being formed, with EE being first out of the gate. EE have done well to get where they stand, setting up the UK’s first 4G network a year ahead of the competition and only recently being chased for 4G dominance by the likes of O2 and Vodafone. This has proven to be an advantage as EE now have 4.2 million customers signed up to a 4G contract and 5,500 corporates using 4G. They still hold a comfortable lead over rivals Vodafone and O2, who both have just over one million customers signed to a 4G contract.

With more deployments such as the Pepwave Max BR1 in the Oklahoma Stillwater Police Department, the impact of 4G will continue to enhance wireless communications in business and utilities.

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