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Companies that take the plunge with widespread Wireless LAN deployments can expect to enjoy "significant productivity gains and increasing financial returns".

According to the 2003 Wireless LAN Benefits Study conducted by NOP - but commissioned by Cisco - WLANs will create a nirvana of increased employee productivity, combined with reduced network administration costs.

The 2003 poll of some 400 US medium and large organizations using wireless is an update of a study originally conducted in 2001. it found that WLANs gave end users the ability to be connected to the network, on average, 3.5 more hours per day - up from 1.75 hours in 2001.

The increase in network connection time makes staff almost a third more productive than they would have been if they had been tied to a wired infrastructure, the research claims.

According to NOP/Cisco, deployment of business WLANs in employees' homes, as well as significant hot spot usage while on the move, created time savings of almost 80 minutes per employee per working day - an increase of almost 30 minutes per day over 2001.

Almost a quarter of employees within the mid-size and large organizations polled access wireless LANs today, up from 16 per cent in 2001. This increase in deployment, plus the reported additional time savings, resulted in the rise in annual dollar value of time saved per employee to almost $14K today, up from just over $7K in 2001.

"The increasingly ubiquitous nature of wireless LAN usage - being driven by wider horizontal roll-out within organizations - is facilitating a surging cost benefit for companies going wireless," said Richard Jameson, CEO of NOP World Technology.

"We expect this trend to continue as wireless LAN roll-out within organizations becomes even broader - and as the technology is driven across all levels of the organization." ®

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