Is Your Wireless LAN Ready for iPhone 6 and Wi-Fi Calling?

Online orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped four million in the first 24 hours of sales, according to the New York Times. Those numbers should give business owners pause. Whether or not your organization has officially sanctioned a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, iPhone 6 and the supersize iPhone 6 Plus are coming to your company’s network.

The iPhone 6 supports up to 3x faster Wi-Fi using the 802.11ac standard, according to Apple. In addition, iPhone has built-in Wi-Fi calling, so that it can hand off calls from Wi-Fi to the cellular network and back while the call is active. Add in mobile unified communications apps on iPhone, other smartphones and tablets, and it’s easier than ever for people to stay in touch anywhere, anytime. Now consider that the typical worker has three mobile devices—smartphone, tablet, and laptop—and students may have five or more Wi-Fi devices. Is your Wi-Fi network up to the task of supporting your users’ expectations for using their mobile devices?

Ready for the New Wi-Fi?

As mobile devices have become essential productivity and learning tools, and as apps like voice and videoconferencing become more commonplace, many organizations are migrating to the new Wi-Fi standard. Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, promises to help organizations meet today’s mobile demands.

802.11ac is:

  • Three times faster than 802.11n. Each radio in an 802.11ac access point can deliver up to 1.3Gbps, which is near-wired speed and three times faster than 802.11n, which is commonly deployed now. The additional capacity is needed to support Wi-Fi calling, videoconferencing, and the growing number of enterprise mobile applications.
  • Better suited for dense mobile environments. 802.11ac supports simultaneous transmissions using a technology called MIMO, or Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output. Up to four Wi-Fi clients can receive data at the same time from a single access point at full speed, and this capability is key to supporting the many mobile devices in an office or school today.
  • More reliable. 802.11ac operates at 5 GHz, which is less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band that is used by the older 802.11b/g/n access points—and isn’t subject to interference from cordless phones, microwave ovens, and other RF devices. In addition, it also uses a technology called beamforming to make the connection between the mobile device and the AP more reliable. Less RF interference and more reliable links means fewer dropped calls for voice or video.
  • Increasingly affordable. Many wireless LAN vendors are offering attractive discounts and trade-in offers to entice organizations to migrate to the newer, faster technology sooner rather than later. And with the coming onslaught of iPhone and other 802.11ac devices, migrating to 802.11ac should be on your IT project shortlist.

Go Mobile with Ease

Add ShoreTel Mobility to your workers’ favorite mobile devices, either iPhone or Android, and they have everything they need to work seamlessly wherever they are. Your mobile workers can access the UC features and capabilities they expect to have when using a desk phone, such as extension dialing, transfer, conferencing, and presence. They can make and receive business VoIP calls from either their corporate and personal phone numbers while the best network is automatically selected. Calls are seamlessly handed off across networks, and moved to Wi-Fi whenever available, which slashes mobile costs and delivers both savings and convenience.

Fax isn’t Dead. It Moved to the Cloud

When is the last time you used a fax machine, with its ear-piercing screeches of connection? If you’re like most business professionals, it’s been a long time—or maybe never. The technology world evolved many times over since the fax machine was invented nearly 50 years ago, but if you have sent or received a fax recently, it was probably from the cloud.

Faxing is alive and well in mortgage banking, insurance agencies, physicians’ offices, hospitals, and in other highly regulated industries. This is largely due to the fact that faxed contracts are generally considered to be legally binding—and consequently, why a faxed signature can usually be accepted in lieu of an original signature in ink. For example, mortgage documents and HIPAA release forms are often faxed since it holds the same weight as the signed-in-person version. If you do business internationally, you’ve probably sent or received faxes as well. Delis, community banks, and other local businesses may also use broadcast fax for marketing.

Reap efficiencies by moving your faxing to the cloud. A cloud-based fax service:

  • Reduces waste. Using a cloud fax service eliminates the waste associated with printing out documents to send or receiving documents via a physical fax machine. A cloud fax service is a greener choice.
  • Is convenient. You can fax from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world, whether it’s from your laptop or mobile device. You can fax to a phone number, email address, a server, or even an old-timey dedicated fax machine.
  • Integrates easily with other cloud apps. A fax service integrates easily with your other essential cloud apps. Whether you’re using GoogleDocs, storing files in Dropbox, or relying on Salesforce.com to keep sales and communications flowing, you can easily send and receive faxes with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Cuts administrative hassle. Storing your faxes in the cloud takes pressure off your in-house IT team and budget. Your IT administrator doesn’t need to buy, install and manage an on-premise fax server. Nor do you have to pay for long distance telephone charges.

With cloud services like ShoreTel Sky Fax, you can receive incoming faxes directly into your email inbox and send outbound faxes as email attachments. It’s that easy.