Five Burning Wireless Questions

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Is wireless technology moving faster than you can keep up with at your company? Here's our reality check on how soon some of the most talked about issues - from smartphone malware to Google's Android to WiMAX - will likely impact your network.

1. Will smartphone viruses kill your network?

Not at the moment. As iPhones, other devices grow in popularity, so will risky Web browsing.

All evidence points to the fact that smartphone viruses will be a threat to your network even though they aren't at this moment. After all, the latest mobile devices are packed with more and more applications and corporate data, are enabled for real Web browsing and online collaboration, and can access corporate servers. What's more, they live outside your firewall and often make use of three wireless networks (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular).


2. Is fixed-mobile convergence worth the bother?

It depends on exactly what you mean by FMC, but the answer is: There's no rush.

Whether fixed-mobile convergence is for you in the near-term depends in part on how you define it, but for most, there's no rush.

While a fair number of companies are testing FMC products, few are making large-scale purchases and many aren't expected to for several years at least. On top of that, mobile carriers generally are reluctant to do anything that drains revenue from cellular minutes, so don't look for them to push FMC down your throat.


3. What will be the impact of 3G cellular networks on enterprise mobility?

Proponents say it will be like taking your desktop anywhere.

Don't underestimate 3G data services, industry experts say. These offerings will tie mobile laptops and voice/data smartphones into corporate networks with something approximating a useable desktop computing experience.

"Mobile broadband laptops are a Big Deal," says Rajeev Chand, director of wireless research for Rutberg & Co., a San Francisco investment bank. "It's driving real traffic for carriers."


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