Small businesses in Boston that need to expand their local area networks (LAN), move to a new location or accommodate a flexible workforce now can take advantage of high-speed wireless LANs offered by Verizon.
"Businesses can increase their networks without spending a bundle or disrupting the rest of the office for rewiring," said Rahman Karriem, executive director - product management for Verizon. "Wireless LANs are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain and they give small and medium-sized businesses the flexibility they need."
Boston is the first city where Verizon is offering the product. The company plans an eventual nationwide rollout of wireless LAN services.
Businesses can purchase a wireless local area network as a standalone service or integrate it with network transport services, such as T1, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and frame relay services. Networks comply with either the WiFi (IEEE 802.11b) or WiFi5 (IEEE 802.11a) wireless standards using the ORiNOCO wireless LAN product line from Proxim Corp. Verizon will design and install the customer's network and provide technical support.
"Wireless LANs are a major advancement for businesses that operate in flexible working environments," said Karriem. "Workers are no longer confined to cubicles or workstations. They can wander from their office to the cafeteria or to a conference room, maintaining connectivity to corporate resources with unprecedented intra-office portability."
Wireless LANs are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain. Other benefits include:
Speed: At speeds of up to 11 Mbps (802.11b) or up to 54 Mbps (802.11a), wireless LANs easily handle large spreadsheets, graphics programs, presentation software, computer-aided design files and other applications that generate files measured in megabytes.
Productivity: Because of the high data speeds and the ability of employees to easily access the LAN anywhere in the office, productivity is increased.
Flexibility: Companies can expand or change their networks without disruptions or significant investments in new wiring. Workstations can easily be added to the network and relocated to accommodate changing workgroup configurations.
Efficiency: Wireless LAN-equipped PCs and laptops can be more easily deployed around office space because there is no fixed wiring required.
Support: Verizon's wireless LANs are integrated with Verizon's data network, which is monitored and maintained around the clock.
"For companies that have seasonal staff fluctuations, Verizon wireless LANs offer breakthrough possibilities," said Karriem. "Workers who can be instantly connected are more productive than those who work off-line or wait weeks for new stations to be wired."
The costs of wiring an office often are a significant portion of the expense when small businesses reconfigure existing networks or install new ones. This can be cost-prohibitive for companies with temporary workforces, "hotelling" sales teams or burgeoning staffs.
Pricing depends upon the number of users and the range of a company's operations. Installation charges vary based on the network configuration.