The Importance of Wireless Surveys
It’s essential to use a wireless solution to establish internet connectivity in the corporate environment. Building a wireless infrastructure for a commercial or industrial business is an arduous task because it requires building consistent, efficient and seamless processes between various departments while keeping cost, functionality, and reliability as priorities. The wireless design varies greatly by industries based on coverage area, user density, end devices and so on.
In some cases, such as large manufacturing plants, equipment, and materials stored on-site degrade signal strength. Staircases, elevator shafts, windows, and walls all reduce wireless signal strength. It’s important to determine not only the obstacles, but the effect they’re having on the overall network.
Let’s look at three reasons why a wireless survey is important: cost savings, functionality, and reliability.
If a business is relying heavily on WiFi for day-to-day operations, a wireless survey is extremely cost-effective. A properly functioning enterprise wireless network is a must as it has a huge impact on a business’s bottom-line performance. The investment in the wireless survey may prove to be financially beneficial before purchasing expensive equipment and in the long run as an active survey evaluates wireless design before deploying an actual wireless network based on customer requirements. A properly-done survey will prevent costly repairs that may be required in the event your WiFi system is set up improperly. You will also be better suited for growth and expansion as your business grows. The survey results provide a precise plan for equipment placement, wireless signal coverage, network performance, cabling, and installation.
The work-hours that go into the wireless survey are not limited to the time spent in the workspaces. Engineers spend several hours afterward drawing up walls and other structures on to the provided floor plans to provide an even more accurate representation of the wireless signal propagation in the space. A wireless survey is already cost-effective, but when you need reliable WiFi in every part of the site the value and productivity gains you get out of the wireless site survey are immeasurable.
In many offices and warehouses, mobile clients move throughout the facility, requiring a well-designed and well-implemented wireless network for consistent service. Businesses that depend on this connectivity invest in a wireless survey and network design to avoid potentially harmful impacts such as intermittent wireless connectivity, latency, a signal drop or lost connection on business functionality. However, network requirements are ever-evolving, and without continued monitoring and evaluation, performance can decrease over time.
Most wireless networks put in place today are designed to auto-tune themselves. However, when a company redesigns its floor plans, adds walls, or rearranges equipment, they’re likely to find that their wireless signal is not quite what it should be with the new configuration. Annual or semi-annual wireless site surveys help eliminate or mitigate issues stemming from these changes. Therefore, proactively checking a system is cost-effective, saves time and money, and prevents a reduction in functionality, making the network much more reliable.
Given the intensive labor and capital invested in wireless infrastructure, it has to be audited in order to be reliable. Hence, a wireless survey is the most effective way of enabling your systems to communicate more efficiently within a corporate network and the outside world. This is where the idea of client roaming comes into place. When the device/client is moving from one location to another, it needs to be continuously connected to the corporate wireless network to be able to roam effectively. Technologies such as strategic use of multiple redundancy mechanisms are bringing wireless network well within stringent reliability goal ranges.
There are other aspects to consider as we work to optimize the reliability of the wireless portions of networks as well. Ideally, in wide area network design, the network is distributed in various segments. The wireless survey offers great possibilities to maintain seamless data processing. It ensures the right capacity hardware is used to obtain reliable network coverage in a profile area. It enables RF (Radio Frequency) management by keeping structural elements in mind, load balancing, use of radio antenna, channels and so on.
Consult an Expert
The wireless site survey provides transparency to the client of the overall cost, a blueprint of the design and work that would be required to attain the most efficient wireless infrastructure. A good wireless survey plans and designs a wireless network to provide a solution that is cost-effective, always up, and reliable. When performed by an expert, the survey more than pays for itself in lower service liabilities and higher productivity gains.
To learn more about Cloverhound’s wireless survey offerings, contact us here.
Aniket Thakkar is a network engineer focused on wireless technology who leads our wireless survey team at Cloverhound. He enjoys reading and traveling as well as learning about new technologies. He completed his bachelors in Information Technology from Griffith University QLD, Australia. He is a cricket fan and a supporter of Team India. Aniket lives with his wife and is learning to play golf.