Motorola Trumpets Age Of Mobility At Interop

In her afternoon keynote, Kathy Paladino, Motorola president of enterprise mobility, said the world has now entered into the age of mobility, and traditional wired networks are getting too costly and complicated to keep wasting time and money on.

"Today we stand at a crossroads," she said, adding that new wireless technologies like 802.11n and wireless mesh are pushing their wired network counterparts into obsolescence and 11n itself will act as a catalyst for the all-wireless revolution.

Kathy Paladino Keynotes At Interop Las Vegas 2008

Hammering home her point, Paladino said that in-house Motorola is refusing to make further investments in wired infrastructure. Instead, she said, wireless networks have reached a new level of reliability, security and cost-efficiency and that continuing to invest in a wired infrastructure is comparable to throwing money down the drain.

"The technology is ready. The time is right to make the shift," she said, later adding that wireless will "accelerate the evolution of how we do business."

Sponsored post

On the reliability side, Paladino said newer technologies like 802.11n, which offers longer range and higher throughput, and wireless mesh, which is self-healing if components go down, have proven their merit. For security, she said, tools like AES WPA2, wireless intrusion detection and geo-fencing have helped wireless networks shake their initial stigma that they lack the same security as wireless.

"It's the worst nightmare for all of us when we pick up the Wall Street Journal and see there's been a breach of security," she said. But wireless vendors have redefined their security postures, creating what Paladino calls "whiz-bang innovation" on the security front.

As for TCO, Paladino compared the first year cost of a greenfield wireless network for 5,000 people to the first year cost of a wired network for a company of the same size. The wired, she said, would run roughly $3.8 million, while a single wireless network would top out at $232,000 while also eliminating the cables, additional ports and maintenance costs. She estimated a wired network can often cost 10 times more than a wireless network. On top of that, she said, most companies currently running wireless networks are doing so over their wired infrastructure, essentially paying the price for two networks.

To punctuate that point, Paladino cited a recent Gartner study that estimated $100 billion will be needlessly spent on wired networking costs over the next five years.

"In its day, the wireless network was a breakthrough," she said. Today we wrestle with the problems we created along the way."

Overall, she said, wireless networks can provide a more flexible deployment path and as wireless technologies continue to mature the sky is the limit, literally.

"The question today is not why to cut the wire, but when," she said.