Even though it is a relatively young industry, there are already some major players at the top of the wireless industry that have established themselves, as well as many up-and-coming companies and startups. If you start with just looking at the consumer wireless providers, you have several options to choose from. It is important to realize that the top consumer providers become the top enterprise providers by default nowadays since most enterprise end-users do not want to have multiple plans and enterprises have given way and have figured out how to work with all the consumer providers to allow their employees the choice they want.
Verizon is one of the leaders in the wireless services industry. Their stronghold has a lot to do with the deployment of their LTE system and users' need for high connection speeds. There is some concern with Verizon's top standing as they've just announced they will be changing their unlimited data plans. Another top wireless company is AT&T. They have a strong presence in the Wi-Fi market, boasting thousands of hotspots across the US. The third player in the US wireless market is Sprint which acquired Nextel a few years ago. They've been able to fill in the holes wherever consumers felt that AT&T and Verizon have left them hanging and offer slightly more price-competitive packages. Sprint offers phones, mobile broadband, laptops and tablets. Sprint’s mobile broadband solution is especially useful in bringing the internet to areas where traditional internet connectionsdo not exist. If an area has the ability to get cellular coverage, they are able to get internet using one of Sprint’s mobile broadband connection.
Another wireless company that has made a name for itself is regional carrier US Cellular. In their market they have been able to hold their own due to their strong infrastructure in areas where the other carriers have little to no service coverage. In the prepaid cellular market the top contenders are Cricket and Metro PCS. With both companies expanding their markets nationwide many consumers are turning to them in order to avoid a contract. At this time they are not offering any enterprise solutions, although they both offer data plans for consumers who may be reimbursed for cellular or data usage.
But the future of wireless could very easily lie beyond the traditional cellular wireless providers. Although Clearwire has struggled in the market, it shows the potential for alternative solutions. Also, the fact that companies like Clearwire keep popping up shows that there are many entrepreneurs who see a gap in the market for a faster and more reliable wireless data service than cellular has provided so far.
Besides wireless service providers, there are lots of wireless equipment providers. If you want to talk solid quality wireless and mobility you have to mention Cisco Systems. They have been the pivotal company to invest and secure a really fantastic enterprise wireless solution. Cisco’s deep understanding of networking and infrastructure has brought powerful wireless networks into most large enterprises with ease. They are also the top major provider of VoIP to enterprises. Cisco’s name is synonymous with the enterprise market but they seem to be moving slowly over to the consumer market with several new product launches. Additionally, Netgear is offering some solid wireless network hardware solutions that work well in enterprise environments. In the consumer market Netgear has been second to Cisco’s Linksys products but has always remained near the top of the list.
Offering a wireless solution is a necessity in most business environments. You have buildings with limited wired capabilities as well as visitors onsite who may need to access the internet off network. Being mobile is no longer just a plus in business. People want the ability and freedom to work from anywhere they wish. If your place of business opts for a wireless network that is convenient and reliable, you can then expect people to have a greater ability to accomplish more. By ensuring the employees still have data capabilities once they leave your building you can offer them a seamless transition from working in the office to working wherever and whenever.
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