Office Filled With iPads? Triple The Wireless Access Points

Using your iPad in the workplace seems easy: hook up to the wireless network and you’re good to go. However, an analysis by Gartner suggests that offices switching away from notebooks to iPads might need to dramatically increase the number of access points or see major performance issues.

Picture by Bark

In a recent paper, analyst Tim Zimmerman doesn’t mince his words:

Although larger touchscreens and improved user interfaces appeal to many users, the limited transmit power and throughput of these devices mean that enterprises need to deploy 300% more access points to get the same wireless performance characteristics as industry laptops.

The issue is that the iPad’s transmission power of 10mW is a lot lower than a typical laptop, which generally runs between 30mW and 50mW. That means that iPads will lose connection speed more rapidly than notebooks as they move away from an access point, and may not work at all in some areas even when other devices can connect. That doesn’t mean that iPads can’t be used effectively at work, but it does mean that larger organisations need to plan their networks carefully.

Experienced iPad networking issues in the office? Share your experience in the comments.

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