1Type of devices - 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.
2Number of devices of each type - the density of client devices will determine the WiFi design. So during the WiFi site survey we need to know how many devices could be present for any given area. Capacity planning helps us determine the model of Access Points (APs) required. Also if the AP is at or near capacity, you'll see some issues.
3Applications to be used – 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.
4Redundancy or location services – for example 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. Obviously, this means more APs are required. We’ll also need to figure out during a WiFi site survey if the required APs are being “seen”.
5Preferences on the manufacturer and models used – different manufacturers such as Cisco, Aruba or Ruckus have different Access Points with different characteristics. These include antenna patterns (depending on the gain), weight, mounting, and polarization. Also, older models usually provide less throughput and interference mitigation. We will also need to know what switches and firewalls are in use.
6Issues experienced – for a fault-finding or post-deployment 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?
1Laptop with Ekahau Site Survey Pro software - this measures and reports on all WiFi signals
2Spectrum Analysis tool - this measures and reports on all WiFi and non-WiFi interference
3Various Access Points (APs) - Directional and Omni-directional.
4Camera – to show AP locations
5Electronic tape measure - to verify building scale
6PoE (Power over Ethernet) battery packs - to power the APs
7Adjustable Tripod - up to 3.5Metres for AP. Generally, the first task will be to walk the building checking out any potential problem areas or safety issues. Once complete the engineer will walk the building using the spectrum analysis tool, recording the data as they go. This stage should show any possible sources of interference from WiFi or non-WiFi devices. Next is the main WiFi site survey. The engineer will place the APs in the correct locations using the Tripod. This could be vertically mounted near a wall, or horizontally next to the ceiling - Which benefits from the way the 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.
For more details on our wifi survey service click one of the links below
If you would like to see an example of a report showing what is covered, then please contact us.