How iPads Might Crush Offices' Wireless Networks

As iPads continue to grow in popularity, their prevalence in the office could not only sap productivity but push WiFi networks to their breaking points. Because the tablets are less efficient at picking up signals than laptops, they tend to put more of a tax on networks. As the iPad 3 release looms, researchers say businesses may need to triple their WiFi coverage in order to handle an an office iPad influx.

Wired cites findings by research firm Gartner that say companies will need more WiFi access points to handle the demands of the devices during the workday.

Businesses networks have been coping with the increasing popularity of WiFi-sapping devices in recent years, led by the smartphone revolution. But tablets could be a game-changer that forces office administrators to rearrange their networks. Wired finds examples of companies that are significantly upgrading their networks, as well as throttling bandwidth on their wireless setups.

The conservative alternative, which would be to ban the devices, could put businesses at a disadvantage with competitors, while also — pardon the cynicism — harming employees’ efforts to make Words With Friends HD moves in a timely manner.

Will an Avalanche of iPads Crush Business Networks? [Wired]