With all the hype around gigabit wireless - 802.11ac (scheduled for ratification in early 2014) and 802.11ad (ratified December 2012), the delivery of new services like Voice over Wireless (VoFi) is sure to grow in popularity, not only for consumers, but in the enterprise as well. Handing a few simultaneous calls on a home network is not much of a challenge, but handling 10 – 50 simultaneous calls per AP in an enterprise setting, all while continuing to deliver wireless data feeding ever-more-demanding applications, is most certainly a challenge, hence the limited deployment so far. But with much faster wireless network speeds just around the corner, services like VoFi are ready for primetime.
VoFi can provide a real benefit in the workplace, especially in highly mobile environments buried deep inside buildings, like hospitals, warehouses, and customer service in large box stores. To serve mobile workers today, these industries often use cellular technology, but coverage issues within these facilities significantly reduce call quality, not to mention the cost of service for each cell phone. With VoFi, APs can be placed to ensure optimum call quality throughout the facility, reducing dropped calls and significantly increasing customer satisfaction. And all this for a fixed cost, just the handsets and the APs, with no additional monthly charges.
Whether or not your organization has picked up on the VoFi trend yet, gigabit wireless will be the enabler for many organizations to jump on board. Below are suggested steps for network monitoring and analysis with VoFi, so you can be ready when the time comes.