In the maternity ward at a local hospital, the nurse wrote her telephone number on a dry erase board in the new mother's room.
"If you need anything, just pick up your phone and call," the nurse told her.
The patient's telephone didn't plug into the wall with a conventional telephone jack. Instead, it was connected to an Ethernet portshe would be using an Internet Protocol (IP) phone. The nurse didn't have a regular cellular or cordless phone on her belt; she was also using an IP phone. However, in her case, she was equipped with a Cisco Wireless 7920 IP Phone.
Throughout the hospital, nurses had these phones to keep in touch with patients. Along the hospital hallways, Cisco Aironet 1200 Access Points (APs) were strategically located to ensure the nurses could talk with their charges.
Wireless networking has exploded in recent years. What started out as a somewhat slow medium (capable of 1 Mbps at best) haslike so many other computer-related functionsincreased in speed at an amazing pace. Speeds of 54 Mbps are common now, and speeds at twice that rate are on the horizon. But it isn't just the networks' speeds that are increasing. The ranges and distances that wireless networks can traverse have also increased.
With this technology seeing so much growth from a technological standpoint, there is an equivalent growth from an application standpoint. That is, more and more organizations and individuals are adopting wireless technologies. It's not just for the "cool" factor; it's also the sheer utility of wireless technologies that attracts people, such as the aforementioned nurses.
Because wireless networking is so prevalent, it's necessary to provide the tools to help set up, use, and maintain these systems. To their credit, engineers are building easier-to-use wireless networking devices. However, with so many people using the technology, it is asked to do much more. Much depends on the technology's reliability. It's helpful to have the answers you need in one, convenient location.