What makes a great wireless experience? Is it a high connection rate? Perhaps it's a low percentage of packet loss. Maybe it's a combination of high beacon availability, low ping round trip time, high throughput and a low number of retransmissions. The answer is, "Yes." All of these metrics and many others, contribute to a great wireless user experience. Understanding how they are all correlated in the invisible world of RF and WLAN is both science and art. But if you were to boil it all down to a word that any IT professional or marketing person would understand, then it would simply be WLAN "speed."
For Gen X'ers, "Speed" elicits classic memories of a young Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock circling the city at high velocity in a booby-trapped bus. But for everybody else, it's the rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate. Webster's definition could not be any more appropriate when referring to WLAN and the Wi-Fi user experience. This is because laptops, tablets and smartphones all allow us to move and operate on-the-go, anywhere, any time. In a hyper-connected, wireless world, the WLAN speed at which you are able to access information dictates the competitive of your organization. If you cannot digitally service your customers with speed and accuracy, then you risk losing them to somebody else who will.
We have already reached the tipping point where we expect reliable, high-speed wireless internet access everywhere we go. In our minds, it is ubiquitous. It's table stakes. Whether its the office, airplane, restaurant, hotel or resort...provide it or your business will die a slow electronic death. The idea or question of coverage has permanently slipped out of the minds of most people today. When Wi-Fi isn't available, it's a total letdown. Period. The simple act of connecting to the wireless network does not enter into this customer service equation either. If it's available, then we want to automatically connect to it. End of story.
Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- When I am studying at the coffee shop, the length of my stay and the number of coffees I drink depends upon the speed of the Wi-Fi.
- When I shop online, the time I spend on your website is dictated by the speed your website loads.
- When the Wi-Fi in the office is slow, I go home because I can no longer work effectively.
The stakes have certainly been raised and as the person in charge of the WLAN experience in your organization, you should know the priorities in simple, matter-of-fact terms:
- If Wi-Fi isn't everywhere, it needs to be.
- When it's everywhere, then it's very easy to connect.
- Coalesce around improving WLAN speed on a continuous basis. This involves many factors and will certainly keep you busy for a long time!
If you would like to see a demonstration of how our Wi-Fi performance management system can help you optimize your network for WLAN speed, then click below.