Take 5 to learn about Wi-Fi procurement ..
Wi-Fi network Planning and Design are probably the two most crucial phases of any Wi-Fi network deployment.
Yet in most cases this is done badly – or not at all.
Take 5 minutes to learn why Wi-Fi networks so often fail – how to avoid problems – and save up to 30% on your CAPEX and OPEX.
Why do so many Wi-Fi Networks Fail to Deliver?
Wi-Fi networks often fail to deliver Reliability, Capacity and Performance – because of:
- Poor Planning
- Poor Wi-Fi RF network Design
- Incompetent RF Site Survey
- Poor Wi-Fi network implementation.
We’re here to help you avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the benefits of expertly-designed Wi-Fi networks.
The Importance of the Physical network
Ask yourself: How well would your switched Gigabit Ethernet network perform if your physical cabling was sub-standard?
The answer is that it would be Unreliable and wouldn’t deliver the Data rates or Capacity you needed.
The Wi-Fi RF Network
So what about Wi-Fi networks?
The physical part of a Wi-Fi installation is the RF Network.
So How do you Design and Certify a Wi-Fi RF network?
This is the crucial question – because if you can’t design a fit-for-purpose RF Network, then your Wi-Fi deployment simply won’t perform.
Wi-Fi RF Network Design
We have standards for physical Ethernet cabling – Cat 5e and Cat 6. But what about a Wi-Fi network?
Answer: There isn’t a standard for Wi-Fi RF networks!
Question: What standard was your last Wi-Fi network designed to?
Answer: Probably none at all.
There may have been mention of Signal Strength (dBm) or Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) (dB) .. but we can show you how these figures alone are meaningless.
Contact LEVER to find out how we can help you deploy expertly-designed Wi-Fi networks.
So How do you Design a Wi-Fi Network?
To do this, you need expert skills that are in short supply.
Contact us to find out how to design Optimised, Fit-for-Purpose Wi-Fi networks with Guaranteed Coverage, Capacity and Performance.
Learn how to cut your CAPEX by up to 30% – no matter which equipment supplier you choose.
What about IEEE 802.11ac? or 802.11ax?
Standards like 802.11ac – Wi-Fi 5 – and 802.11ax – Wi-Fi 6 – are NOT standards for Wi-Fi RF network Design ..
Wi-Fi network vendors have been pushing IEEE 802.11ac, and now 802.1ax, as silver bullets – promising superb performance and reliability.
.. with “Seamless roaming ” ..
But in fact – 802.11ac and 802.11ax simply define equipment and protocols. Not how to design and build a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network.
Optimised Wi-Fi Networks
What is an Optimised Wi-Fi network?
A network which is expertly-designed – fit-for-purpose – reliable – and deployed at least cost.
“Automatic RF management” mechanisms on APs or WLAN controllers – such as Cisco’s AutoRF and RRM, Aurba’s ARM and other vendor algorithms – are often worse than useless. They are no silver bullet.
Sales spin from Wi-Fi vendors can give the impression that we don’t have to worry much about Wi-Fi network Design or Configuration – because auto RF mechanisms will take care of everything.
But that would be like an Ethernet switch trying to fix your sub-standard cabling!
What is the Wi-Fi RF Network?
A Wi-Fi RF network is the product of:
- The Vendor and Model of each Wi-Fi AP deployed.
- The Number of APs deployed.
- The Location of each AP (really, it’s the AP’s antennas).
- The chosen Antenna types.
- Each Antenna’s orientation – azimuth, elevation and polarisation.
- The Transmit Power level of each AP radio.
- The RF Channel and Channel Width used by each radio.
The “automatic RF management” schemes used in enterprise Wi-Fi products control only two of these:
- Power levels
- RF Channel
The rest are determined by the Wi-Fi network installer. And once your network’s installed – you’re stuck with it!
Has Your Wi-Fi Network Really Been Optimally Designed?
Almost certainly not ..
A Wi-Fi network Engineer, Consultant or Installer has not designed your RF network unless there is a properly-written Wi-Fi RF Network Design Specification.
What RF network properties does it specify?
What about Wi-Fi network verification after installation? What is your standard for that?
What Capacity Planning was done?
How many more access points did you buy than you needed?
Each access point costs between £500 and £900 cabled and installed – CAPEX.
How Defective are your Wi-Fi Networks?
You may have just realised why more than 90% of enterprise Wi-Fi network deployments are non-optimal = too expensive.
And why many Wi-Fi network don’t meet customer requirements.
Circular Wi-Fi Cells
Wi-Fi network design doesn’t work the way that many WLAN vendors suggest.
For example, take a look at the circular cells painted by the vendors in their Wi-Fi network design diagrams.
Are RF cells really circular?
Of course not.
So why do so many people draw them that way?
This reveals ignorance in the Wi-Fi network supplier or designer, or both; and an assumption that the buyer will accept an incompetent Wi-Fi network design.
Four APs into Three Channels Doesn’t Go!
Here’s a starter for ten: how do you arrange Wi-Fi cells in groups of 4 – at the corners of a square – when you can use only three non-overlapping channels in the 2.4GHz band? – channels 1, 6 and 11?
If anyone suggests using channel 1, 4, 7, 11 .. or 1, 7, 13 ..
.. or if channels 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 or even 14 are in use ..
.. or any other combination: call us.
What’s that Cell Boundary?
Another question: What does the boundary of that circle represent? Is it:
- Signal Strength (dBm)?
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio (dB)?
- Associated data rate (Mbps)?
- The point where RF stops travelling?
If the cell boundary isn’t labelled, that boundary means absolutely nothing.
Look carefully at your vendor’s Wi-Fi network design guides. Be critical!
Don’t forget: there should be no circles. No squares. No other regular shapes.
Incompetent Wi-Fi network Design
We’ve barely scratched the surface.
But is this already giving you the impression that most Wi-Fi network suppliers are incompetent?
Ignore the big names industry .. we won’t mention them ..
What matters is who they send to design and survey your network. Often, it isn’t who you think ..
We have to define “competence” in Wi-Fi network Design. So how do you do that?
Is there a qualification?
Amazingly – No!
And there we have the root cause of the problem ..
The Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP) certification doesn’t teach Wi-Fi RF network design .. it fails completely, and it always has.
What about vendor training courses and certifications?
We’ve seen them all. They’re more about the equipment and less about Design and Survey.
What about the Ekahau Design training and Certification – ECSE Design?
It’s not a bad course, but it’s only the start.
Is there any other training course or certification?
Yes – LEVER delivers what is probably the World’s only Authoritative vendor-neutral training course on Wi-Fi RF network Design and Survey.
Our training programme for LEVER’s Wireless Engineering team spans 22 days.
That’s six bespoke in-house courses.
They match the Wireless Certification Commission’s six Wi-Fi Engineer Certifications.
And then our projects are managed by our Senior Technical Team.
Avoid the Spin
LEVER are World-leading experts in Wi-Fi network Planning, Design, Survey, Integration, Optimisation and Support.
We have 22 days of unique training materials on the subject.
We’ve been doing this since 2002.
In 2005 we launched the World’s first independent course on Ekahau Site Survey (now Ekahau Pro). We’ve been using, selling and supporting Ekahau Pro ever since.
In 2009 we became the World’s First and only CWNP GOLD Learning Partner – a Certification created by CWNP exclusively for LEVER.
In 2014 we established the Wireless Certification Commission™ (the WCC™) – the independent organisation which defines standards for Wi-Fi RF network Design, Implementation and Procurement.
In 2015 we introduced a revolutionary new way to audit Wi-Fi networks.
Now we use AI, Machine Learning, and a uniqe set of skills, methodologies and capabilities that are simply unrivalled.
We provide a complete range of services to organisations planning to implement wireless and mobile network solutions, including:
- Wireless network Planning and Design
- Wireless Site Survey
- Wireless network Installation and Integration
- Wireless network Security Policy and Security Audit
- Wireless network Analysis and Troubleshooting
LEVER’s wireless network planning and design services include:
- Existing wireless network Assessment and Appraisal
- Enterprise Wi-Fi network design
- Wireless Voice over IP (Wireless IP telephony, Voice over WiFi – VoWiFi)
- Vendor / product Evaluation and Recommendations
- Wireless System Architecture Definition
- Wireless RF network specification
- Capacity Planning
- Wireless RFP Development, ITT production and Bid / Tender Review
That’s just the start.
Contact Us for a free review of your wireless network requirements.