WalMarts Legacy:Wireless Networking

For security better or for worse use of wireless networking devices is exploding. And your friendly neighbouhood Wal-Mart is responsible. There are two big growth areas for wireless – RFID-RadioFrequency Identification Devices and wireless networking. Wal-Mart has spurred the growth of RFID like only a quarter of a trillion dollar business can. They have decreed to all their suppliers that they expect to be able to receive their inventory with RFID devices embedded in them by 2005. The US DOD-Department of Defense and a number of other large corporations have followed suit.

This movement to RFID has spurred a consequent growth in development of highly mobile devices and handhelds that can detect RFID signals and act on them accordingly using databases and business rules. These mobile devices are sometimes new and unique but other times are added functionality added to existing tablets, bar-code scanners, handhelds and central laptops. And this new wave of operational wireless devices that suport some variation on 802.xx (the wireless standards) link in with the other wave – the support for wireless on the desktop. 80% of laptops sold this year will have wireless support. Laptops are getting a larger percentage of corporate “desktop” sales. And of course wireless LAN repeaters and routers are being used to “extend LANS” arther than using comapartively inflexible and/or costly cabling. Net result (Uggh Lee Pun) – WalMart has a Wireless Legacy.


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