WN Podcast 009 – Periodic Survey – 4P Part 4

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode.

We have reached the final P in our 4 part 4Ps Survey type!

Matt has spent last few weeks on site again working on projects every single day and has recently attended the Wireless Lan Association conference in Reading in the UK and was a total blast with some great speakers talking about WiFi all day.

Mac has been swamped with project work recently too and has just got back from a well-earned yoga & meditation break to Italy with his wife Magda! Food was amazing and despite it being extremely light and healthy, they haven’t lost any weight due to pigging out every day.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • What is a Periodic Survey?
    • Ensure that wireless network is STILL performing optimally by conducting periodic site survey to account for changes in the dynamic WLAN environment in brownfield sites.
    • Similar to Post-Deployment (see previous episode)
    • Is RSSI & SNR still good?
    • Channel overlapping check
    • Spectrum utilisation check
    • Interference check – rouges and non-WiFi wireless interference
    • Problems? Still Periodic or tshooting focused Assessment?
  • Why is it important to do it?
    • Important to always do it, no matter the vertical nor how big or small the deployment is. Clients have general tendency to push back on doing periodic survey to save costs
    • Physical environment may have changed:
      • New tenants may now occupy floors above or below and have brought new wireless devices with them causing interference on the network
      • New neighbouring buildings might have been erected
      • Some walls might have been put in, removed or changed
    • Requirements may have changed:
      • Wireless network designed for basic data connectivity might now be expected to cater for voice, video, RTLS or high density.
    • Rule of thumb is to check your WiFi condition every year
    • Amazing chance to tweak existing WiFi or flag a need for potential re-design to be better suited for purpose
  • Periodic Survey Tools
    • Ekahau / Sidekick
    • See episode 2 for more info
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Wireless in place
    • Defined success criteria
    • Access to the site
  • How do you perform Periodic Survey?
    • Prepared survey plans, scale them, etc.
    • No need for drawing walls, but need to define areas and success criteria
    • Standard passive or hybrid survey
    • Office full of users, under normal load, in hours
    • On-site and off-site documentation

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