Wireless Communications

Local Wireless (Or PAN)

What is PAN?

  • Cordless products, such as mice and keyboards that use radio or infrared technologies. These are inexpensive to buy and easy to install and use. As a minimum they allow you connectivity within the range of the desktop, and for certain products, such as the familiar cordless desk phone, a considerably wider range.

  • Bluetooth, a versatile short range radio technology that has been around since 1998, allows enabled devices such as phones, mobiles, mice, headsets, PCs, printers and keyboards to connect wirelessly when in range of each other, within a distance of 10m. Bluetooth technology is increasingly built into contemporary mobile phones, PDAs, PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other products, while other items can be easily upgraded with a Bluetooth card.

What can PAN do?

  • Wire-free connectivity between mobiles, PDAs, keyboards, laptops and printers increases convenience and flexibility, eliminating the need for cable. Being wire-free makes mobile workers’ work kit much lighter and portable.

  • Connected Bluetooth devices can synchronise data downloads and uploads and exchange information.

Who is PAN designed for?

  • Because they are cable-free, wireless connections between laptops, PCs and peripherals free up floor space and liberate floor plans; ideal for businesses which are space sensitive.

  • Bluetooth-enabled products are useful for mobile employees needing to update and synchronise information across office systems. Remote workers visiting the office periodically can bring in a Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone, PDA or laptop and access enabled office-based peripherals such as printers.

  • New Bluetooth hardware, for example Bluetooth-enabled in-store labelling handsets, barcode scanners and vending machines, means that several devices are suitable for the smaller business.

  • In industry, Bluetooth can be used to wirelessly control equipment and machinery – perfect for servicing inaccessible devices.

PAN Costs

  • Individual devices vary in price but most products are cost-effective and within the £50-£400 range. For example, a mouse typically costs between £30-£50, whereas PDAs can range from under £100 to over £500. Bluetooth adaptors for PCs now cost from under £10 and most laptops these days have built-in bluetooth adaptors, while a Bluetooth adaptor card for a PDA can be brought for a little over £10.

Pros and Cons of PAN

  • Cordless technology and Bluetooth are efficient, cost-effective and convenient, with products designed for maximum compatibility across agreed standards.

  • It is unlikely that different wireless systems will interfere with each other, although with new technologies and products entering the market, exhaustive tests have yet to be carried out.

  • Bluetooth networks are relatively secure, but can be slow in transferring large files in an office network.

  • Bluetooth networks within a room or a building provide secure, wireless communication with the flexibility of working anywhere within the network range.

  • Bluetooth is a short-range solution and may not be suitable if your business needs wireless connection over larger distances.

Wireless Communications business advice article: Crown Copyright © 2004-2013

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