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Lewis Wu: The next big "things" in wireless networking

TP-LINK is a global provider of SOHO and SMB networking products and the world’s No.1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, with products available in over 120 countries to tens of millions customers. Committed to intensive R&D, efficient production and strict quality management, TP-LINK continues to provide award-winning networking products in Wireless, ADSL, Routers, Switches, IP Cameras, Powerline Adapters, Print Servers, Media Converters and Network Adapters for Global end-users.

Rake Narang: What’s driving the wireless networking growth?

Lewis Wu: The wireless router is still the main point of access to all that the Internet has to offer. For consumers, it’s a golden age of streaming movies and TV shows on demand, playing multiplayer online games, streaming music and of course surfing the web and emailing.

But without a reliable wireless router, much of that potential can’t be realized. So the first step is finding the right wireless router to suit your needs.

Beyond the router itself, networking is seeing strong growth in other areas that both extend and accentuate a network. Wireless adapters can take a signal and ensure it is broadcast to all corners of a home or small business, perfect for locations with large footprints.

Another example are our portable travel routers. These little devices are tiny enough to be slipped into a carry-on or briefcase and can share one connection with many devices. In hotel rooms that may charge for each device you use to access the Internet, you can use a travel router to pay for just one connection but share it with your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

With the growth of Internet access in home entertainment devices, entertainment adapters can help streamline the various devices into one product that accesses the Internet. Smart TVs, gaming consoles and online media devices simply plug into one adapter that then communicates with the main wireless router.

We see continued new innovative products that are tailored to the different needs of the users.

About Lewis Wu

Rake Narang: How can wireless networking companies stand out from the crowd in a heavily commoditized space?

Lewis Wu: Whenever a product segment has been commoditized, two things need to happen in order to succeed.

First, you must be able to deliver on the basics. In terms of wireless networking, that means the product must be reliable. When a wireless router goes down, the entire network is paralyzed. If the wireless router experiences technical issues, even if the network doesn’t go down it could experience problems with low bandwidth or sporadic dropping. All of these can be extremely frustrating for the end user. The most successful wireless networking product is thus the one that you don’t even notice because it is so trouble-free.

Secondly, you must build a successful brand. Brands stand for something, and they create a meaning in the minds of the users. Our brand is focused on “reliability” and “value”. Everything we do is centered around those two goals, and it is communicated in all of our marketing activities. Building a brand doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. If you can stand for something, communicate it properly and back it up with your actions, consumers will naturally gravitate toward your brand.

Rake Narang: What are the next big "things" in wireless networking?

Lewis Wu: The latest new technological standard in wireless networking is called 802.11ac. It can theoretically provide up to three times the throughput and data transfer speeds of the previous standard of 802.11n. This makes it even better suited for bandwidth-intensive tasks such as streaming HD videos, online gaming and downloading large files. 802.11ac also extends the range of the network a bit as well.

Currently the standard is in “draft” version, meaning the standards body of IEEE is still finalizing improvements to the technology. But just as the previous 802.11n standard took a bit of time for other companies to build the adapters into their products, once manufacturers start to really commit to 802.11ac we should see adoption rates take off. After all, who doesn’t want faster when it comes to the Internet?

Another interesting concept that’s about to hit the market is a Powerline Wi-Fi Range Extender. This marries the best of the benefits of Powerline with a wireless range extender to provide exceptional transmission with little interference. Traditional wireless range extenders lose some of the speed as the wireless signal gets retransmitted, but the new breed of Powerline Wi-Fi Range Extenders don’t.

Rake Narang: What is Powerline technology and how can it augment a home network?

Lewis Wu: Powerline products can be a great compliment to an existing wireless network. We’ve all experienced certain situations where a wireless signal may not be able to adequately reach certain areas.

Powerline products simply use existing copper power lines to transmit data and ensure stable connectivity in these areas where wireless signals may be compromised. If a wireless router is on the third floor, using Powerline adapters in the basement guarantees Internet access without fear of interference.

Setting it up is very simple to do with the main unit located at the modem. From there, any number of adapters can be dispersed throughout a home or office space. Devices just plug right into the adapter and they are connected to the high speeds of broadband Internet. All this is achieved with no rewiring needed.

Company: TP-LINK USA
117 N Sunset Ave., City of Industry CA 91744 U.S.A.

Founded in: 1996
CEO: Cliff Chao and Jeffrey Chao
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: China
Products and Services: Wireless and networking products, including: wireless routers and access points, outdoor wireless, 3G routers, ADSL modem routers, Homeplug adapters, to PoEs, IP cameras, SMB switches, and VPN routers.

Company’s Goals: To be the world’s leading provider of wireless networking products.
Key Words: Networking products, wireless networking, routers, wireless routers, switches.
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