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FeibusTech: market insight & analysis. Influencer, analyst in IoT, digital health/fitness, wearables, connected car, smart home, privacy/security. Columnist for Tech section of USA TODAY and Fortune.

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FeibusTech Blog

Open Wi-Fi: A Cure for TS?

Mike Feibus

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Have you ever faced a purchasing decision so weighty and daunting that you delayed or avoided it altogether?

I have a name for the phenomenon. I call it “Threshold Syndrome,” or TS. People with TS know that what they want is waiting for them on the other side of the proverbial door. But the gravity of the decision keeps them from passing through. They worry that the cost of making a bad choice could be life-altering. So they linger in the doorway.

IT buyers know TS all too well. They typically come down with it when they take on new network deployments. Because they know that once they pull the trigger, they’ll be locked into a vendors’ system. Which means that they go as the vendor goes. If the vendor raises prices for new hardware or tacks on maintenance fees for new services, then they pay more. And if the vendor is late with new hardware, then the state-of-the-network lags.

Fortunately for network decision-makers, an antidote for TS is gaining momentum in the marketplace: open Wi-Fi. By giving IT the power to mix and match compatible hardware, software and services from different vendors, open Wi-Fi effectively breaks down big deployment decisions into smaller, more palatable choices. If the access points turn out to be disappointing, for example, IT can turn to a different supplier for upgrade and expansion.

Naturally, prices will come down and quality will rise once vendors are forced to compete at every turn. It’s one reason FeibusTech is forecasting growth in enterprise Wi-Fi deployments to accelerate.

Open Wi-Fi is gaining steam in the marketplace. At the Open Compute Project’s annual US Summit this week, in fact, the 3,000 or so attendees and exhibitors will be treated to Wi-Fi connectivity by way of the first-ever all-open, large-scale deployment, courtesy Mojo Networks and Edgecore Networks. It’s a significant, if symbolic, milestone in the legitimacy of open Wi-Fi.

And, in the process, we’re one step closer to stamping out TS in the enterprise.