Video On High-End Handsets Can Strain Business WiFi Networks

A lot of people have warned that cellular networks simply couldn’t cope if everyone were active users of mobile content, especially mobile video. One proposed solution was to stream the videos over WiFi, which would also be cheaper. However… InfoWorld has an article reporting that some companies are having their WiFi overwhelmed by people streaming video to their mobile handsets, with comments from a number of people in charge of the companies IT that they have had to implement policies prohibiting people from the practice. William Friemann, the VP of technology operations, security, and compliance at Prudential Fox Roche, said that one employee had already been fired for refusing to stop streaming video, and that the company was simply not going to buy extra bandwidth so people could watch YouTube. Later versions of WiFi could alleviate some of the congestion but chips cost more and drain more power, so handset manufacturers aren’t likely to be running to put them in the handsets soon. So the solution will remain policies prohibiting the practice — at least until there’s a business reason to stream video and therefore a justification to spend money on the upgrade.