Evolving A Wireless LAN Infrastructure

We understand that our partners are with their customers day in and day out, helping them design and implement their IT digital transformation strategies. To ensure that their workforce remains flexible, agile and capable in their working environments, one key component of their infrastructure remains their Wireless LAN infrastructure.

At Empowered we understand that as your customers develop and grow, so do the demands on their infrastructure and the ever-increasing demand to deliver high speed Wireless LAN networks and to accommodate an increasing number of Bring Your Own Device services, requires a scalable and secure network. With the introduction of WiFi-6 technology (or 802.11ax standard), all major vendors have an offering, both cloud-based and on premise and customers want to take advantage of the enhanced capabilities and significantly higher data throughputs it delivers together with the added features such as Social Network login and CMX Analytics.

Ultimately your customers need a knowledgeable and trustworthy partner to deliver day in day out, this is where the breadth of Empowered’s services can help you, not only win customers but retain them well into the future.

How does an organisation know they are ready and how should they prepare for the future?

When you are in the early stages of discussion with your customers about how they scale their infrastructure to cope well into the next decade, we firmly believe that before making any upgrade decisions, customers need to review their future business demands in line with the likely impact placed on their wireless environment.

We highly recommend that a wireless survey is performed to ensure all environmental and RF characteristics are considered. The survey and corresponding report will help you have informed discussions with your customers and help them to make the right decisions to drive their own future strategies.

Without a site survey, there is a high risk that the customer’s network will not perform to the criteria required and subsequent issues with coverage gaps, channel interference, incorrectly specified hardware and poor client connectivity are likely to be experienced.

How is the Empowered survey constructed and what does it deliver?

There are multiple survey types dependent on the specific customer requirements:

  1. Predictive surveys (Desk-based)
    During a predictive survey, a model of the RF environment is created using the Ekahau Pro software with a core purpose to summarise the access point (AP) quantity and optimum location placement.
  1. Passive pre-deployment survey (APoS)
    An AP on a stick site survey (APoS) is generally used for greenfield sites and is where the engineer emulates the existing APs in areas without real APs installed.
  1. Passive pre-deployment survey or Remediation Survey
    This type of survey is primarily for environments where there are existing access points installed and the customer wants to supplement or improve its current RF coverage.
  1. Passive post-deployment survey or Validation Survey
    The validation survey is primarily a coverage check and is used to identify the precise position of existing AP’s, Wi-Fi, and non-Wi-Fi interferers.
  1. Active post-deployment survey or Performance validation Survey
    The performance validation survey is the same as the above but with the key difference to measure round-trip time (RTT), throughput rates and packet loss.

The main reasons for conducting a RF survey are as follows: 

  • New wireless network planned. This can be in a new build (Greenfield) or in an existing building
  • Extension to an existing network – stairwells, exterior, etc.
  • Change in support requirement – i.e. voice and/or location based/tracking
  • Replacement of existing network – new technology has greater coverage capability

By very nature, a WLAN network is subject to various outside influences. RF propagation and functionality can be greatly affected by physical changes within the boundaries of the network, together with competing networks and other sources of interference.

Empowered utilises industry leading tools to undertake its wireless surveys from Ekahau and will conduct the survey using customer supplied site floor plans and a completed pre-site survey questionnaire. The cable engineer will need access to all data cabinets and roof voids to check all relevant cable routes.

What is the outcome?

Once the survey is complete, you will be fully equipped to engage with your customer in valuable conversations regarding their Wi-Fi and cabling infrastructure and how they best move forward. The report will include the recommended AP Placement details, coverage heatmaps, BOM and structured cabling requirements will be compiled. Any other observations, including lifting equipment required, asbestos register details and mains power availability will be provided and can be presented to the customer. The survey document details not only the coverage areas and required equipment, but also comprehensive data cabling requirements and where appropriate, any associated electrical installation requirements.

The report will be white labelled and formatted for you to easily share with your customers.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have a customer requires support for their wireless networking strategy. We can also provide case studies upon request.

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