Wifi is growing but it comes with hidden risks.  Here’s our quick guide to managing wifi risk and getting the most out of the opportunities:

CDI Group, the UK’s leading network installation company, predicts their wifi business will grow by at least 300% in 2017.

In 2016 CDI installed over 300 wifi systems in the UK alone, with several thousand access points.   Lawrence Davis, CDI’s Senior Project Manager said “we estimate that in 2017 we will install over 900 systems in the UK, in addition to any overseas growth”.

Photo: Sandro Katalina (C)Unsplash

CDI’s predictions are in line with industry indicators.  Cisco’s 2016 white paper predicts that: “Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years, and will have increased nearly 100-fold from 2005 to 2020.(1)

Cisco also cites that “The number of devices connected to IP networks will be three times as high as the global population in 2020”(1)

So, it’s clear wifi growth is accelerating, and CDI are seeing more companies willing to offer guests and visitors wifi access.  For many companies  wifi  is a solid part of their sales strategy.

There are clear benefits to offering widespread wifi…

Corporate benefits include hot-desking, employee benefits and being more welcoming to visitors and clients.

Most hospitality companies, retailers and even public transport in some areas of the UK, offer free wifi.  Some even promote wifi quality as a sales and marketing tool.

Now employees can stay connected wherever they are, and still have access to work and files. Certainly a cost-saver and an efficiency boost.

High speed wifi is a work/life balance tool – reducing stress, maximising time, eg: allowing employees to get their online shop at lunch time, or check their children’s nursery at breaks.

So what are the issues of wifi growth? And how will your organisation overcome them?

With the growth of wifi, and guest access, it means network managers need to be ever more strategic.  Companies need  to ensure there is a robust boundary between public and private wifi access.

Quality of access is also vital.  With more and more people relying on wifi, it is clear that poor quality wifi access is just not acceptable.  “People can get great quality wifi at home, so will not tolerate anything less at work.” Continues Laurence.
Managing the growth:

Ensure you choose a quality system, and get the wiring right! A strategic partnership with CDI Group will ensure you have the very latest cabling to support emerging wifi standards, which if designed and installed properly will future proof your business and reduce your cost of investment.

Get an infrastructure plan that will last: In addition to the infrastructure cabling CDI Groups Network Integration Consultants can help you plan and design your wifi network which includes on site wifi surveys using Fluke Airmagnet to guarantee you have the correct number of wireless access points in the correct locations to maximize your wifi coverage.

Plan for the future – your wifi isn’t just for 2017.  If the cabling infrastructure is designed and installed correctly along with an Airmagnet site survey, your wifi will be able to support emerging technologies.

Consider integration.  Get advice that will support your business plans.  Integration with telephone systems and software for example.

Sources: (1) http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

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CDI Group background

CDI Group are recognised by the world’s leading structured cabling manufactures to design and install Warranted and Certified Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a & Cat7 Structured Cabling Systems from Comscope Systiamx, Commscope Krone, Commscope Uniprise, Brandrex, Belden, Datwyler, Molex, Hellermann Tyton, Connectix and Excel.