Learning With Wireless LANs

VARs who specialize in wireless LANs (WLANs), network services and wireless services, grab your pencils: According to a recent report from independent market analyst firm Datamonitor, wireless LANs are about to surge in the North American education market. In fact, Datamonitor predicts the education market will spend up to $200 million on WLAN deployment by 2008--more than double that of 2004. Why the increase? For starters, the benefits are both economic and educational, according to Datamonitor. The former includes avoiding wiring issues, reducing network costs and saving on PC upgrade costs. Educational benefits include improving classroom communication and teaching practices.

Who should take note? According to VARBusiness' 2005 VARBusiness 500 research, nearly 40 percent of top solution providers (181, to be exact) derive more than half of their revenues from the education sector, including K-12 and higher education. In addition, education was ranked among the top 10 vertical markets by VARBusiness 500 executives (see "Top 10 Verticals," right). These solution providers should be prepared to handle issues including bandwidth demand, network configuration, security and education-market know-how. --Tanzina Vega

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