Survey: Many IT Managers Are Planning To Replace Wired Nets With 802.11n

Jul 30, 2007 (11:07 AM EDT)

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A sizable percentage of IT managers -- 44% -- are already planning to implement 802.11n, even though the high-speed wireless LAN standard isn't expected to be formally set for several months, according to a survey released Monday.

Colubris Networks, a supplier of WLANs, said its survey of 200 senior IT professionals also found that nearly a third of the survey respondents said they plan to replace their existing wired networks with 802.11n WLANs.

The respondents indicated they have already been favorably influenced by 802.11n's promise of fast speeds, expanded coverage, and capability of supporting varied applications as key motivators to adopt the wireless technology. In spite of the professed enthusiasm by the surveyed IT managers for 802.11n, Colubris still found big gaps in their understanding of the technology.

Colubris said 38% of respondents didn't know that 802.11n's theoretical bandwidth is 300 Mbps and just 34% knew that 300 feet is the coverage range of the WLAN technology. And most didn't realize that 802.11n speeds will decrease in backward compatibility situations with a/b/g clients.

"While it is exciting to see a number of businesses already planning to deploy 802.11n and use it as their primary access network, the concerns and confusion highlighted in the survey demonstrate the need for a simple, cost-effective 802.11n WLAN migration solution," said Tom Racca, the firm's vice president of marketing, in a statement.

Colubris is in the vanguard of firms that are already providing 802.11n-capable hardware products that can be upgraded by software to meet the provisions of the final 802.11n when it is announced, currently targeted for September 2008. For instance, the Colubris MAP-625 is backward compatible with a/b/g devices and features dual radios that the firm says deliver more than five times the performance of current generation WLANs.