Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are quickly progressing beyond serving as "spot" solutions for data-centric, vertical applications such as retail barcode scanning and warehouse inventory picking. With the Ethernet-like throughput potential of the 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, WLANs are strong contenders for becoming businesses' mainstream, primary LAN access method.
In addition, because of the trend toward unified communications, collaborative network applications and IPTV, WLANs will soon be expected to regularly transport application traffic types that require predictable network throughput. Among this traffic is real-time voice and high-definition video. These multimedia transmissions can't tolerate flaky network connections that incur significant packet loss, delays and jitter. Such conditions can result in a phone call being dropped, an audio stream
being interrupted, or a video screen breaking up.