Gartner Research

How to Successfully Deliver Mobile Unified Communications Over WLANs

Published: 12 March 2014

ID: G00261545

Analyst(s): Mark Cortner


In an effort to drive mobile productivity, enterprises are extending UC services to smartphones and tablets over WLANs. A successful strategy requires that technical professionals assess updates to the 802.11 standard that support voice and video communications and expanded Wi-Fi network capacity.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Findings


  • The Intersection Between Mobile UC and WLANs
  • Key Trends Driving Wireless Access to UC Services
    • Growth in Smartphone and Tablet Usage to Access Enterprise Applications
    • Shifts in Mobile Device Ownership and the Number of Devices Employees Use
    • User Acceptance of Mobile Software Clients to Access Enterprise UC Services
  • Key Considerations: WLANs Versus Mobile Data Networks
  • Strict Performance Requirements of Real-Time UC Services
    • Latency
    • Jitter
    • Packet Loss
    • Payload Bandwidth
  • Performance Characteristics of Legacy WLANs Are Insufficient
    • Best-Effort Network Access
    • Variable Network Latency and Throughput
  • WLAN Advancements That Enable the Delivery of Real-Time UC Services
    • QoS Enhancements
    • Bandwidth Management
    • Roaming Between Access Points
    • Client Device Battery Management
    • Wi-Fi Certified Voice-Enterprise Program
    • Increased Bandwidth (802.11ac)
  • WLANs Can Support Real-Time UC Services but Are Not the Complete Solution
    • Encoding Selection
    • Call Admission Control
    • Rights Management and Acceptable Use
  • WLANs Can Support UC Services but Will Not Replicate a Wired Network Experience
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Link Enterprise Mobility, WLAN and UC Strategies
  • Assess WLAN Infrastructure Options to Support QoS and Add Capacity
  • Move Cautiously and Gain Experience From Pilot Projects
  • Establish Governance and Use Policies That Support Success
  • Properly Set User and Management Expectations

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