Designing Wi-Fi Networks at Scale for a leading Russell Group University
LEVER’s customer is a leading Russell Group University with a substantial property estate. Like many leading institutions, the University recognised the need to provide reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi services at all properties, both teaching and residential, to meet the demanding needs of its students and staff.
Whilst the University had existing Wi-Fi networks installed in many of its properties, these networks did not provide reliable connectivity or performance, and were unable to deliver the capacity needed when student numbers peaked at specific times during the week, month or year.
The University recognised the need to outsource the complex task of Wi-Fi network Planning, Survey and Design to a trusted partner that was independent of the industry’s Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
The chosen partner would need to work closely with the University in a consultative capacity, to ensure that specific Goals and Objectives were met whilst controlling equipment costs.
Virtually all areas of the University were to be surveyed and comprehensive reports were needed within tight timescales.
Every Wi-Fi network project should follow a five-stage process:
LEVER’s role in this assignment was to perform Phases 1 and 2.
Critical to the Survey, Design and Optimisation phases are the creation of detailed Specifications for Wi-Fi network design, which have a huge bearing not only on the success of every installed Wi-Fi network, but also on project CapEx and OpEx.
LEVER worked closely with the University to agree processes that would ensure all network designs could be assessed and approved by the University for efficacy and cost reduction.
To meet the customer’s tight deadlines, LEVER’s dedicated multiple Wi-Fi survey teams, each with three engineers, working concurrently in different locations. Teams were managed centrally with survey data reported back daily.
To increase the speed and efficiency of survey work, up to twenty Wi-Fi access points were deployed simultaneously on tripods. LEVER’s MAPT survey method, which evaluates many different Wi-Fi designs for each area surveyed, was employed to deliver optimised Wi-Fi network designs.
Survey data analysis, network design and reporting were performed by a third LEVER team working in conjunction with the University’s IT management staff.
For each building surveyed, LEVER produced optimised Wi-Fi network designs that met the agreed Design Specifications.
It’s important to realise that the outputs of LEVER’s work directly drove the University’s Capital and Operational expenditures for the five to seven year lifetime of the network, therefore every design decision was carefully analysed and assessed to ensure that best value was delivered consistently.
All supporting survey data was supplied, along with summaries of the rationale behind each network design decision.
As a result, all of the University’s buildings have high-speed access to the Internet and vital learning resources, achieved using the correct number of access points.
The University was impressed that LEVER completed this substantial project comprehensively, on time, and within the fixed budget assigned.
LEVER surveyed the entire University estate using the MAPT™ Design method.
All buildings now have high-speed access to the Internet and learning resources.
The University is impressed that LEVER completed this substantial project comprehensively, on time and within budget.
- Ian Lever, Senior Project Manager
Our experience in University Wi-Fi spans 18 years, and we’ve worked with Russell Group Universities to define new standards for Wi-Fi network Engineering.
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