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Why Are Wireless Site Surveys Important for Reliable Connectivity?

Posted on: June 23, 2014

A well-designed wireless network is critical to running an efficient and reliable wireless-based communications system.  A weak wireless signal can slow or halt communication, resulting in wasted effort and decreased productivity. Conducting a wireless site survey on your business property is the first step toward installing a wireless network that functions at an optimal level.

A wireless site survey is a test of wireless signal strength which is performed on-site by one of our trained technicians. The technician uses data from the survey to determine prime locations for wireless access points, or APs. Optimal placement of these devices will allow for a consistently strong wireless connection enabling efficient workflow and productivity in any place throughout the building and even outside.

Where Are Wireless Site Surveys Most Needed?

Whether you are installing a brand new wireless network, adding new coverage area to an existing network or looking to improve connectivity in an existing network, wireless site surveys give you the data that you need to design a wireless network infrastructure that operates at its full potential.

  • Offices. Weak wireless signals are common in office spaces, due to numerous cubicle partitions and devices such as wireless speakers and external monitors that produce interference.
  • Schools and Universities. High demands are being placed on wireless networks used in schools and universities as the number of wireless devices used by students continues to increase. Networks must be designed to support high demand and adapt to future needs.
  • Healthcare Facilities. Many critical medical devices and applications are supported by wireless networks, so reliability is a major concern for healthcare IT professionals. Networks designed with wireless site survey data have minimal risk of connectivity failure.
  • Hotels. Hotels face unique challenges in guaranteeing strong wireless connections in each room due to the high number of walls which decreases the range of APs, and in turn increases the need for more APs. Networks must be designed with numerous, short-range APs for maximum effectiveness.
  • Industrial/Manufacturing Facilities. Industrial and manufacturing facilities face unique challenges with wireless networking as heavy equipment and metal surfaces interfere with radio frequency, or RF signals. Networks must be designed to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio, which increases signal strength.

How Is a Wireless Site Survey Conducted?

1. Layout

We obtain a drawing of the layout of the facility and learn what your wireless needs are.

2. Coverage

We determine the coverage area and identify current problems.

3. RF Propagation

Our wireless technician will conduct a walk-through RF propagation test on-site to plot access points and determine signal strength and noise levels throughout the facility. This can be done during business hours and will not disrupt business operations.

4. Analysis

Our technician analyzes the data and generates a report with AP placement and channel assignment recommendations.

5. Strategy

Our technician will go over the wireless network design with you and discuss implementation strategies.

What Is in a Wireless Site Survey Report?

  • A Survey Map  This map shows the entire area covered in the survey with plotted APs and the signal strength associated with each access point.
  • A Signal-to-Noise Map  This map shows the changes in the ratio of signal-to-noise throughout the facility. Optimized wireless networks have the maximum possible signal-to-noise ratio in every area of the building.
  • An RF Channel Interference Map  APs that are within range of each other should have RF channels with minimal signal overlap to support roaming and limit interference. Our technician uses the data in the channel map to determine AP signal overlap and assign RF channels accordingly.
  • Recommendations  Using the data that we collect, we create a plan for implementing an optimized wireless network which includes prime locations for APs and channel assignments.

What Can I Expect after Implementing a Well-Designed Wireless Network?

Improved Productivity

A wireless network designed using site survey data ensures that the signal strength is reliable and as strong as possible in all areas of your building.

Faster Customer Response Times

Optimally running wireless network systems increase data upload and email speeds, which improve your response time to your clients.

Easier Maintenance and Repairs

When a wireless network needs maintenance or repairs, your IT staff can use the data obtained from the wireless site survey to diagnose the problem easily, which minimizes downtime and unsuccessful network troubleshooting.

Wireless Site Surveys in TN, AR & MS

State Systems, Inc. is proud to support the communication systems of businesses located in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. To find out more about our wireless site survey and wireless network design options, or for a quote, contact us online or call 866-308-5701.

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