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HetNet News: Enterasys supports educational BYOD

Welcome to RCR Wireless News’ weekly look at the heterogeneous networks (hetnet) landscape. We will be keeping you up on the latest announcements, trends and developments in Wi-Fi, distributed antenna systems and small cells as mobile evolves toward hetnet deployments.

Enterasys Networks has deployed wired and wireless networks for the Medina, Ohio, school district to support devices and 7,500 users across 13 locations with its Wi-Fi and MobileIAM products.

The network is designed to allow students to bring their own laptops and mobile devices for use in the classroom and can accommodate teachers using iPads. Before the implementation, Enterasys said, Medina schools could not support mobile devices due to lack of bandwidth.

The bring-your-own-device program for education follows the larger trend of BYOD in business. IDC predicted earlier this year that tablets were reaching a price point where schools would start experimenting with replacing textbooks with tablets, and programs like this one might push that trend further along.

Two reports from the Dell’Oro Group are predicting growth for Wi-Fi and small cells.

The analyst firm expects wireless LAN market revenues to exceed $11 billion by 2017, a figure nearly 50% greater than revenues for 2012. The trends driving the growth? Service provider Wi-Fi deployments, the 802.11ac upgrade cycle, cloud-managed WLAN, consumer video consumption over Wi-Fi and again, BYOD.

“Today’s enterprise applications are now built for mobile devices, enabling workers to be nomadic,” said Chris DePuy, VP at Dell’Oro Group. “The emphasis on mobile devices places new demands on the corporate wireless infrastructure. It also forces companies to maintain connections to employees while they traverse to cellular networks, and drives the need to apply consistent access rules for both Ethernet and wireless access systems. We see continued innovation at the edge of enterprise networks that will drive continued investment in both wireless equipment as well as access management infrastructure.”

Dell’Oro also looked at the small cell market, and expects service provider Wi-Fi, and evolved WCDMA/LTE and multi-mode WCDMA/LTE/Wi-Fi small cell radios, to drive growth in that market.

“If we look at all the various small cell markets including residential, enterprise, and public access small cells, we expect the public access market to generate the most rapid growth in the next five years,” said Stefan Pongratz, senior analyst with Dell’Oro Group. “Even though significant challenges remain for operators to move to large scale small cell deployments in the licensed spectrum, there are now clear indicators that a number of early adopters are looking to shift some CapEx from outdoor population coverage to indoor coverage and cell edge performance,” he added.

The analyst firm also predicted that more than 60% of small cell sites using external backhaul will rely on line of sight and non-line of sight microwave by 2017, and said its analysis of unlicensed small cells showed that service provider Wi-Fi will account for about 85% of all small cell radio shipments in 2017.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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