Wireless in SOHOs
Wireless in SOHO land
Gupta, Regional Sales Director, North and South Asia, Linksys talks about
the use of wireless broadband access products in SOHOs.
by Soutiman Das Gupta
What are the issues related to broadband implementation
for a Small Office Home Office (SOHO)?
Once a SOHO opts for broadband access, managing and optimising the use of bandwidth
and information security are the two key needs of these companies.
Why are small offices opting for wireless products?
One of the biggest drivers of wireless products has been the rapidly falling
prices of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) equipment. This has put technology
within the reach of SOHOs and Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Over the last
year, a number of SMBs deployed wireless LANs as their primary networks instead
of using them as mere extensions to complement their existing wired networks.
Other drivers include the need to increase productivity. Teams can work in conference
rooms, away from their desks and so on. All this leads to becoming more responsive
Office space can be used in an efficient manner and executives who work from
home or are on tour benefit from flexibility. The use of wireless technology
does away with capital expenditure on cables.
Some external factors influencing wireless penetration include the falling prices
of broadband packages, increased production of Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, and the
rapid proliferation of public hot spots.
Small enterprises feel that as low-yield clients, they will not get adequate
support from their vendors.
Market forces are ensuring the rapid proliferation of Wi-Fi products across
large and small enterprises. Affordable broadband packages and falling prices
of equipment have made the SOHO segment a key target for Wi-Fi vendors. To meet
the needs of this segment, service providers are investing in adequate support
For instance, Linksys' target segment is the SOHO market and the company has
built itself on channel and support strategies. We have set up a 24x7 support
centre that is accessible to customers through a toll-free number.
Are initial investments in wireless LAN justified?
Wireless products for small offices are not expensive and they can scale up
quite nicely. Once an organisation has a broadband connection, going wireless
is effortless. With a minimum investment of Rs 5,000, one can add on a wireless
router that ensures seamless connectivity between multiple PCs and laptops.
Each router has a provision for a minimum of four ports and the office can add
wireless units as its PCs burgeon. A wireless environment is completely scalable
and builds easily on the underlying layer.
Linksys' wireless products are scalable and fully compatible with Cisco products,
which may be used when an organisation grows.
Can you provide a price comparison between a 4-node wired
network, and a 4-node wireless network in a typical Indian SOHO environment?
A 4-port wired router costs about Rs 3,000 (end user price), while a 4-port
wireless router costs about Rs 5,000. Hence, sharing Internet access using wireless
is a sound business decision. The wireless router can support four wired and
25 wireless clients.
Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at email@example.com