Wireless site surveys are a must-have prerequisite for businesses that want to improve, expand, modify, design and/or install enhanced wireless networks. They eliminate problematic guesswork and help companies avoid costly mistakes. Wi-Fi reliability and performance is key to improving efficiencies and profitability in a highly competitive enterprise market. Having the right tools and knowing what to look for is fundamental for deploying and maintaining today’s business-critical wireless networks.
There are four different types of Wireless site surveys: Predictive, Remediation, Validation or Design, depending on your needs. An AbeTech expert can help you determine which is better for you.
Predictive site surveys, also known as predictive Wi-Fi design, uses advanced software to model your environment and create different types of Wi-Fi heat maps. It establishes what is required to deploy a high performing WLAN system. You will know how many AP’s are required and the location for placement for each. This survey does not provide information regarding interference and is heavily dependent on the physical site survey or the information provided by the client in case of new sites. The predictive survey must be undertaken by professional wireless designers with sound knowledge of RF.
Remediation Surveys, or WLAN Remediation can mean many things. It mostly means the WLAN is not meeting your requirements, you are having problems and it is affecting efficiencies. A gap analysis is done to determine “dead zones”. Client devices “hear” the WLAN at different levels depending on what type of hardware you are using. You will be able to see this on a provided heat map. Some client devices experience “dead zones” when some do not. All hardware is not equal. A gap analysis can show you where your issues are and can assist in the remediation of the issue. A spectrum analysis is also a part of this survey and can be tricky. Interference is not always “on”, it can appear random to the user, however when the interference is tracked down it becomes obvious it is not. Once identified, this interference can be tuned out of the WLAN with proper channel planning. If your organization is big enough, a spectrum policy might be justified and recommended.
Validation Surveys, also referred to as a post install survey. Like the name implies this type of survey validates that a particular WLAN implementation meets the requirements of the project. The WLAN is in place, configured and running as intended. This survey captures data throughout your entire facility where Wi-Fi is a requirement. Once the data is collected on all Wi-Fi channels, it can be analyzed and compared to your requirements to see if it “passes”. Primary signal strength, secondary signal strength (for roaming), Co-channel and adjacent channel interference, interfering networks, Rogue AP’s, misconfigurations, channel-width, channel usage and any additional Wi-Fi areas, should be checked. Anything that does not meet the requirements can be resolved. Once that is done, a second survey should be done to make sure that the WLAN now meets all requirements. This survey is the most important and critical of all surveys and should always be performed to validate what was intended initially with the design.
Design Survey, also known as a wireless network design survey. Technicians survey your facility using proprietary equipment to perform your comprehensive site survey to assess coverage, and user density. They will gather information like the number and types of devices and applications running on your wireless network. Current inventory amounts and types and any expected seasonal or cyclical changes that will add volume to the network. They will want to know plans for any future deployments of VoIP applications, robotics, autonomous devices and or access points to determine the optimal quantity and placement of your wireless infrastructure. Based on the data collected, a comprehensive report that includes our findings, proposed remedies and recommendations for corrective actions will be discussed. We will then work with you to identify and optimize hardware selections and access point placement resulting in a capable and secure network that will support your future business needs
When it comes to wireless site surveys, one-size-fits-all strategies don’t work. Don’t take chances with something as important as your wireless network. AbeTech experts can help you determine the most appropriate type of site survey for your company, we will meet with your project manager(s) and or onsite contact(s) to review your current situation, existing hardware and performance problems and confirm desired outcomes.