We’ve been hearing for years about the promise of convergence – convergence of service packages, which allow end users to get all their wireless and wireline needs met by a single supplier, if they so choose; convergence of wireless and wireline networks, to allow new efficiencies by network operators and enable more integrated services to end users.
Convergence in terms of service providers, like the organizations we once aptly called the cable TV companies and telephone companies, clearly already has taken place. The idea of the cableco offering telephone services, and the telco offering cable TV services – and all of the above delivering broadband services – is old hat.
Wi-Fi, which is used in many homes and businesses, and is increasingly offered for free in an attempt by network operators to offload traffic from their networks and perhaps add value, and by retailers to get customers to visit and perhaps stay at their locations and buy just a little longer, is another example of wireless/wireline convergence, as it uses wireline broadband for the backhaul.
One of the next frontiers of this wireless/wireline convergence appears to be within business environments. This goes beyond simple Wi-Fi connectivity by promising to create business networks that marry wireline and wireless to give rise to a seamless network that can serve any endpoint virtually anywhere.
That’s precisely where ADTRAN is going with its acquisition of WLAN company Bluesocket, which the company announced this week.
Gary Bolton, vice president of global marketing at ADTRAN, earlier this week explained to me that the end goal of the company’s strategy as it relates to the Bluesocket deal and what it’s doing on the enterprise communications front is to allow for complete endpoint freedom across the enterprise, even if that enterprise is distributed across the world.
“We believe this is a perfect time to reset and redefine the whole wireless LAN industry,” said Bolton.