Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
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Matt Brunk | January 22, 2016 |


Getting 'Smart' and Going Wireless

Getting 'Smart' and Going Wireless As consumers and SMBs rely more heavily on smart devices, they'll need to do their due diligence on how best to support their Wi-Fi requirements.

As consumers and SMBs rely more heavily on smart devices, they'll need to do their due diligence on how best to support their Wi-Fi requirements.

Residential wiring in the 1980s into the late 1990s was always a hassle because, as my builder buddy would say, "You want brass fixtures throughout the home and now you want wiring added too? ...all these options cost money and raise the home's price." Now with cellular and Wi-Fi in demand, wiring is not -- but this isn't to say that you should abandon your wiring infrastructure.

If you're setting up a home or SMB office, then you'll need to decide whether your requirements warrant new cabling or can go all wireless. You'll also have to determine what devices to use, and you'll most likely turn to retail modems and other high-speed Internet access gear with onboard Wi-Fi and basic firewall capabilities.

While these programmable devices have been adequate for residential applications, the growing number of "smart" endpoints -- mobile phones, connected TVs, Internet-enabled devices, alarm and monitoring systems, energy management systems and appliances, and so on -- demand on Wi-Fi is growing. These smart devices use Wi-Fi for diagnostics and other uses. Improvements are needed, and Panasonic offers one in the form of its new KX-TGP600.

This system comprises a base SIP phone acting as the master (wired LAN connection) and connecting to slave cordless DECT phones throughout the home or small office. Larger homes and offices can purchase an optional repeater for boosting audio quality over DECT (not QoS via best-route Internet).

Residential and SMB Wi-Fi adoption is staggering, and the number of endpoints is increasing as is the number of applications and use cases for Internet of Things. This all comes with challenges and benefits, such as:

  • Wiring isn't eliminated, but you can avoid new cabling costs by using wireless connectivity
  • Reliance on off-the-shelf unsecured endpoints can put consumers and SMBs at risk
  • You still need electrical and circuit protection, but the dynamics change in that an electrical transient or surge won't traverse Wi-Fi
  • Consumers and SMBs will need to navigate an increasingly complex, multivendor support environment
  • You currently cannot get cloud support inclusive of all endpoints
  • You may find difficulty finding first-level support adequately aware or even trained on troubleshooting the myriad of endpoints in your office
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