My Business Needs a New Wi-Fi Network, Where Should I Start?
Over the past 5-7 years, mobile devices have become the primary method everyone uses to access network resources and the internet. To ensure everyone is productive and happy, your wireless network needs to have the ability to support the increasing demand.
However, there are some major challenges for businesses both large and small:
- Guaranteeing performance SLAs across multiple different uses, locations and types of devices
- Providing secure wireless access
- Keeping up with demand by measuring performance
You need to be able to effectively deliver all three.
If you're implementing wireless for the first time or updating an existing network, doing so has grown to be very complex, requiring many years of experience an extensive skillset (certifications) as well as time.
What businesses need today is a wireless system designed for three things:
- To match the devices and end-users connecting to it
- Applications and user density
- Allows both personal and business devices on the same network with the highest levels of security.
This all sounds great, but where do you begin? Where does the process of updating your company's wireless system or deploying wireless for the first time start?
It all starts with an analysis and a predictive design.
To help you get started, we've broken down what a predictive design is and what you can expect to receive once it's been completed.
What is a Predictive Wireless Design?
A predictive design is a starting point for budgetary purposes to determine what it will take to deploy wireless in a given space.
For typical office buildings predictive designs are accurate within 5%, for other environments such as warehouses, hospitals or other more complex locations, a predictive design, while still very accurate, will be used in conjunction with more on-site analysis.
Suggested Reading:"Predictive RF Design Software vs Free Wi-Fi Design Software"
They way it works is a WLAN engineer, using specialized software, creates a model of your businesses wireless environment and "predicts" what your WLAN design should look like to provide wireless into a given location or environment.
The predictive design will use a variety of criteria to do this:
- Building size (length, width, ceiling heights)
- Construction materials (brick, concrete, drywall, steel etc.)
- Possible sources of interference
- Devices and applications that will be at the location
Your predictive wireless design will provide you with 4 big things before any type of deployment takes place.
First, it will provide you with a coverage map, which shows you using heat indication of where the access points are covering, also know as a wifi heat map.
You will be able to see the predicted RF or wireless coverage that will be provided by the access points that will be deployed throughout the building.
Second, the predictive design will have an AP location map. This indicates where the APs are going to be located throughout your facility for optimal signal delivery.
Third, the design will provide you with anticipated throughput capacity of the network. This could be on each AP individually or over the entire network.
Fourth, the design will have a capacity analysis, which includes calculating the devices and their capabilities in correspondence with the anticipated applications and what load or impact they're going to have on the wireless network.
Your business can't operate without having power. Today, wireless needs to be looked at in exactly the same way as your other utilities.
However, few organizations have the skillset or the necessary time in order to support the changing needs of their wireless systems. Ultimately, it’s a huge financial and technical challenge to continuously keep up with the demand.
Traditional purchasing models don't solve this issue. You spend large amounts of capital on a new system that will inevitably become obsolete in 4 years or sooner.
On top of that, many businesses don't get all of the funding they need, forcing them to make decisions on which part of their business gets the latest technology.
Suggested Reading: "3 Common Wi-Fi Performance Mistakes and What You Can Do to Avoid Them"
This creates a system where you have both old and new components, which is a nightmare to manage and a bigger nightmare to guarantee optimal performance across your entire network.
Wi-Fi as a Service on the other hand, will always guarantee your business has the necessary wireless system through a subscription-based model.
This allows your business to focus on what it needs too the most, providing your employees and guests with a productive, enjoyable and safe user experience.
So are you ready to get started?