WiFi Site Surveys & Consultancy

What is a Wifi Site Survey?

A wireless site survey is essential to the planning and design phase, prior to the installation of a wireless network in your premises or location.

There are different types of WiFi site surveys, but the general factors considered in each survey include your premises size, the required overage, the number of devices accessing the network (capacity), your current infrastructure, interference, and the construction of the building.

What we'll consider

Existing network issues fault-finding

We’ll diagnose any issues with your existing network traffic and network capabilities.

Application
priorities

We’ll ensure that your vital services, software and apps run without any issues, designing your network from the ground up with this in mind.

Suitability of current
infrastructure

We’ll inspect and test your existing infrastructure to ensure it’s fit for purpose, and scalable for your business needs.

Required
coverage

We’ll analyse your existing coverage, to ensure you can get connected wherever, and whenever you need to.

We guarantee we’ll fix any WiFi problem you’re experiencing.

Benefits of a Site Survey

We’ll design a bespoke network for you

Our experienced engineers will carry out a wireless survey or network analysis, which will identify any potential sources of interference, or any specific venue obstacles which may be affecting your WiFi coverage. We’ll look at all aspects of your building design and network design, and check the type of internet connection currently used at your site.

You’ll receive a full report, which will outline any work required to maximise your network coverage.

We guarantee coverage

We guarantee coverage to even the smallest handheld devices, if the network is installed to the specification detailed in our survey report.

Whether it’s high network congestion, building material, or local interference affecting your signal levels, our engineers will design your network to overcome any identified issues

We can optimise your existing network

Our engineers will offer advice on equipment, to help you optimise your network. We have a wealth of experience building and maintaining high performing networks, and can provide consultancy on Cisco, Ruckus, Aerohive, Meru, Xirrus, Aruba, Ubiquiti and many more equipment providers.

We are experts in working with latency-sensitive applications like VoIP and video, and consult on prioritisation and network topology.

Different types of survey

We specialise in three different survey types: a predictive model WiFi survey, a pre-deployment onsite WiFi survey, and a post-deployment or fault-finding WiFi survey. The type of survey you’ll have depends on whether you have an existing network and your requirements; we can advise which survey meets your needs.

1

Health check/Fault-Finding WiFi Survey

The health check or fault-finding WiFi survey is conducted on sites where a wireless network has already been installed (whether by us, or by anyone else).

This survey type is usually used where a specific issue has already been identified, such as slow video calls or voice-over WiFi (VoWiFi), deadspots or throughput issues. Our engineers will visit your site to fault-find and check your wireless network is functioning as intended.

We recommend this survey type is carried out on a regular basis to prevent any long-term issue with your wireless signal or network.

Pre-Deployment Onsite WiFi Survey

Though the predictive model WiFi survey can give a reliable estimate of your site’s requirements, the pre-deployment WiFi survey is based onsite, in order for us to gather a comprehensive understanding of your site’s requirements.

One of our engineers will visit your site to conduct a AP (Access Point) on-a-stick survey. The AP takes measurements to determine the wireless coverage area, signal strengths, and any sources of interference.

2
3

Predictive Model WiFi Survey

This survey is carried out virtually, and relies on high-quality building plans, which enable us to assess your requirements.

Working with CAD drawings of your building, we’ll use software to build up a 3D model, setting the floor and wall materials to provide an accurate virtual picture of your site.

This survey type provides a quick and cost-effective estimate of your site requirements, and causes minimal disruption to your business. However, it can’t account for onsite issues such as cabling paths, or local interference sources.

Find out what you can expect during your wireless site survey

Talk to us about your requirements and to book a site survey

Proud to work with

Best Western
Redbridge Council
National Health Service
Travelodge
Lacoste
British Red Cross

WiFi Site Surveys & Consultancy Case Studies

DHL

WiFi Fault Finding & Consultancy

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Solihull Sixth Form College

WiFi Fault Find Survey

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“ Performance Networks resolved a complex ongoing WiFi issue in one visit; they are fast to respond and highly professional. We have since engaged them for further WiFi consultancy and thoroughly recommend their services.

David Jackson, EMEA Aviation Hub Sort Control Centre Manager - DHL

Our Partners

OUR APPROACH

Step 1

We find out about your business needs

1

What devices are going to be used onsite?

Will they be handheld barcode scanners, VoWiFi handsets, laptops or tablets? We’ll need to know the make and model of the devices that will use the wireless networks – to determine frequency ranges – and which standards (802.11a, b, g, n, ac) are supported. If you don’t know this information, we can help you identify what devices you use.

2

How many devices do you have of each type?

The number of devices used on your network will determine the WiFi design. During the WiFi site survey we’ll need an estimate of how many devices could be present for any given area. Capacity planning helps us determine the model of Access Points (APs) required.

3

What applications do you use?

During the wireless site survey we’ll need to know if the WiFi network is being used for video, VoWiFi, e-mail, web browsing, cloud storage, or RTLS (location tracking). Certain traffic requires QoS (Quality of Service) to work well.

4

Have you got the right set up for the applications that you use?

RTLS (Real Time Location Systems) generally require three Access Points (APs) to be visible at less than -75dBm. Cisco VOIP requires two APs to be seen at -75dBm or better, and an SNR of 25dB or better, which means that more APs are required. We’ll also need to figure out during a WiFi site survey if the required APs are being “seen”.

5

Have you got any preferences for the manufacturer or models used?

Different manufacturers such as Cisco, Aruba or Ruckus produce different Access Points, which offer different characteristics. These include antenna patterns (depending on the gain), weight, mounting, and polarization. Older models usually provide less throughput and interference mitigation. We will also need to know what switches and firewalls are in use.

6

What issues or symptoms are you currently experiencing with your WiFi?

For a fault-finding or health check WiFi survey, we’ll need to know what symptoms or issues are being seen onsite. Are there issues with VOIP, video or a certain application? Is it throughout the premises or one area in particular? Or are issues seen at a certain time of day?

Step 2

We’ll import your building plans, set scale, and define the building materials

For this stage, we’ll need high-quality digital building plans. Our survey software uses these to show how the WiFi signal travels through the building. We’ll need plans that are to scale, and ideally define distance.

CAD drawings are preferred (but not essential), as our software uses the layers to set the different floor and wall materials, and gives the attenuation properties of each. We also support the use of PDF, BMP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG files. If you don’t have building plans - don’t worry. When CAD files can’t be supplied, we’ll define these properties manually.

Image Description

Step 3

We’ll visit your site to design and test the WiFi network

An onsite pre-deployment survey can be done in conjunction with a predictive survey, or purely as a standalone. If used in conjunction with the predictive wireless site survey, then this can serve as verification of the network design.

Once onsite, our engineer will set up the wireless survey kit in accordance with your building type, regardless of your environment or how many floors your business is spread across.

The location of your comms cabinet and the equipment therein (such as switches, firewalls and the Internet router) will be documented, and we’ll confirm the type of cabling if possible (CAT5/5e/6/6a). We’ll also - if possible - document the physical location of your wireless Access Points in use. During this walk of the building, our engineer will also be checking out any potential problem areas or safety issues.

How we carry out a site survey: the detail

Our engineer will walk the building using the spectrum analysis tool, recording data as they go. This stage will show any possible sources of interference from WiFi or non-WiFi devices.

To setup the main WiFi site survey, our engineer will place the Access Points in the correct location using a tripod - this could be vertically mounted near a wall, or horizontally next to the ceiling, which benefits from the way that most antennas are aligned in modern indoor Access Points.

Using the Ekahau software they will walk the area taking readings. When they get to the edge of the coverage area for that AP, they will then “freeze” the software and move the AP to the next location.

This is repeated until the entire building or location has been completed. The coverage area size will be determined by the type of WiFi network that is required, which will have been ascertained during step 1. One NIC

(Network Interface Card) will be used to perform a passive wireless survey, where the laptop and software just “listens” to the signals. Another NIC will perform an active WiFi survey, where data is sent to test connectivity (PING) and optionally throughput (using Iperf). Extra NICs can be added to speed up the passive survey. The extra NICs then listen to different parts of the spectrum, so sharing the load. Once complete, the engineer will then summarise the initial findings with the onsite contact.

Our survey kit includes:

  • Laptop with Ekahau Site Survey Pro software
  • Spectrum analysis tool
  • Various Access Points (APs)
  • Camera – to show AP locations
  • Electronic tape measure
  • PoE (Power over Ethernet) battery packs
  • Adjustable tripod

Step 4

We compile your bespoke report

Once the survey is complete, our engineer will compile the findings into a comprehensive report. This will include the recommended locations of Access Points (along with photos and notes for clarity), channel settings, power levels, throughput, heatmaps showing each APs coverage area, and any interference issues that may need investigation.

In the case of a fault-finding wireless site survey the report will also include recommendations about what is required to improve the network.

Our engineers will be more than happy to go through the report with you.

  • If you have received a predictive, or pre-deployment wireless survey, then a follow up post install WiFi/RF (Radio Frequency) site survey is always recommended to verify the WiFi network is working effectively
  • If you would like to see an example of a report showing what is covered, then please contact us.
  • A follow up post-install WiFi/RF (Radio Frequency) site survey is always recommended to verify the WiFi network is working effectively

Talk to an expert

To talk about your requirements and to book a site survey call us on +44 (0) 115 822 1212
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Performance Networks Limited,
The Sir Colin Campbell Building,
Nottingham, NG7 2TU

Head Office: +44 (0) 115 822 1212
London Office: +44 (0) 207 148 1780