American Small Business Travelers Alliance

March 23, 2006 11:38 ET

ASBTA: Wireless in the Office/Wireless on the Road - How the Wireless Workplace Could Work for Small Businesses

DALLAS--(CCNMatthews - Mar 23, 2006) -

Virtually Seamless Connections from the Office to the Road Make an All Wireless Workplace Attractive to Many Small Business Road Warriors

Small businesses with demanding travel needs could benefit both on the road and in the office by utilizing an all wireless environment, reported the American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA). ASBTA is a national, non-profit alliance that provides valuable services and functions focused specifically on the travel needs and interests of small business owners.

"Whether deploying from the inception of a business or converting an established business, wireless networking offers a scalable and cost-effective solution that enables small business owners and employees to keep in touch just about anywhere, virtually seamlessly," said Chuck Sharp, ASBTA President. "With the latest generation of laptops providing desktop PC performance, longer battery lives, and the efficiency and time saving of accessing e-mail practically anywhere, the benefits of wireless are numerous."

In the office, small businesses can choose to go fully or partially wireless depending on their specific needs. A major benefit of moving to an all or partial wireless environment is that wireless networks can cost up to 30% less to establish and operate than a standard wired network. In addition, the seamless, always-connected environment can increase employee productivity and make it easier for employees to transition from the office to the road. In fact, a recent study by Omni Consulting Group, LLP showed that mobile data services increase global workforce productivity by 13.4 percent.

Once on the road, wireless access is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make critical connections. Most major airports offer Wi-Fi hotspots that allow travelers with wireless enabled laptops to easily connect to the Internet, while train stations, restaurants and even gas stations are adding similar services every day. And most middle-range hotels also offer high-speed Internet or Wi-Fi at little or no additional cost. Best Western, for example, offers customers free high-speed Internet access and Wi-Fi at all of its 2,300 locations in the U.S. and Canada. InterContinental also offers both high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi, and the chain's budget-brand, Holiday Inn, allows travelers to book their rooms wirelessly using almost any wireless device, including PDAs and BlackBerrys.

"Like many of our member companies, so many small businesses these days spend 50% or more of their time on the road and our research has shown that over 60% travel with their laptops, so they know just how important wireless connectivity has become to keeping connected outside the office," said Sharp. "So the big question is why switch network platforms from the road to the office, when wireless can work so effectively in both situations? The demonstrated productivity enhancements clearly make it a question worth considering for many small businesses."



Resources for the Small Business Wireless Workplace

-- To learn more about the wireless workplace, visit Intel's
"Wireless Solutions for Small Business" web site
(http://www.intel.com/business/smallbusiness/wireless/index.htm),
which is geared toward helping small businesses understand how
wireless can work in their environment. Intel's unique SMB
Technology ROI Analysis Tool
(http://www.intel.com/business/smallbusiness/roi.htm) can also
help small businesses determine whether going wireless is
right for them.

-- Get on the cutting-edge of mobile technology with Entrepreneur
Magazine and Intel's online guide, "The Extended Office"
(http://www.entrepreneur.com/extendedoffice

-- Easily find wireless hotspots using any of a number of online
services, including: Intel's Hotspot Finder
(http://intel.jiwire.com/); Wi-Fi Free Spot
(http://www.wififreespot.com); and Wi-Fi Hot Spot List
(http://www.Wi-FiHotSpotList.com). Another service, Connexion
by Boeing (http://www.connexionbyboeing.com), even enables
users to obtain in-flight Wi-Fi connections.



About ASBTA:

ASBTA is dedicated to educating the small business traveler and promoting the travel industry at large. The American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA) is a national organization serving small business travelers by providing information about travel and mobile technology (www.businesstraveltechnology.com) designed to improve and enhance your travel experience. If you're a small business owner and want to learn more, visit our site and register free at www.asbta.com.

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