wireless

WN Podcast 015 – WiFi 6 In The Wild – Part 1 – The Theory

Hello! Welcome to our new & juicy podcast episode 15! Today we are kicking off the 2-parts “WiFi 6 In the Wild” series, where we’ll discuss real world of WiFi 6 operations and enhancements, trying to focus on what’s practical and important without sounding like marketing broken record 😉

Today’s show notes will be quite short, as we’ve blogged about this topic here: https://wifininjas.net/index.php/2019/07/03/wn-blog-003-wifi-6-deep-dive-real-world-testing/

As mentioned in the podcast, we’ll include some more info about the modulation and encoding but felt last minute that a blog post would be more appropriate than a single picture in the show notes 🙂 More details here: https://wifininjas.net/index.php/2019/07/07/wn-blog-004-wifi-1-5-modulation-encoding-techniques/

Enjoy! And comment. And shout if you like it or don’t like it or if you’d like us to talk about anything specific in future episodes!

With tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 014 – WiFi Design for Retail

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode! We continue our Design Series with a discussion around WiFi Design for Retail.

Design recap (see episode 12):

  • Understand the purpose (data, high density, location, etc.)
  • Capture success criteria (capacity, coverage, other RF elements, roaming)
  • Always go on site before and after (attenuation, RF condition, interferers, DFS, visual check)

Retail design challenges:

  • Often very high ceilings
  • Often large open spaces (food court areas etc.) so not much to attenuate WiFi
  • A lot of 2.4GHz CCI/ ACI from there being so many wireless devices in every store or concession stand
  • pretty much guarantee that 2.4GHz spectrum is near enough unusable
  • Legacy guest devices
  • So retail providers usually want you to still support 2.4GHz
  • Large amount of devices
  • Can you bring concessions WiFi under yours by giving them an SSID and VLAN on your wireless network in a certain area controlled by AP Groups – reduce the amount of rogue WAPs and contention! 

Retail design essentials:

  • What is the wireless design for?
    • Data? Voice?
    • Guest Location Analytics
    • Anything else?
  • Who is it for?
    • Guest only
    • Guest & Corp
  • Capacity in different times of year – ever seen a popular mall over Christmas period?
  • Mobility is key but it’s challenging
  • Security vs compatibility vs user friendliness
    • P2P block
    • Onboarding must be easy
      • Ask too many questions and users won’t connect
      • Keep it simple – use Facebook, Instagram etc.
      • Stick to basic email form for users with no social media
  • Value of cutting edge WiFi without apps
    • Challenging to get users to install apps
    • Easier with WiFi than with BLE due to randomisation

Drivers behind having a sleek WiFi in retail:

  • Goal: increase sales
    • Understand the customers needs
    • Adjust the displays, stock, presentation, promotions, online presence, etc.
  • Customers expect proper connectivity
    • If mobile coverage drops, they will check WiFi out
    • If it’s not there, it’s bad. If it is there but it’s slow or user-unfriendly, it’s even worse
  • All things considered, WiFi is not the most expensive part of running a store, but it can massively help business:
    • Built email list (login via form)
    • Built demographic stats (login via social network)
    • Understand basic customers presence in store (zone based analytics)
    • Understand routes client take (basic location analytics with WiFi triangulation and presence)
    • Understand exact clients location behaviour with high tracking accuracy (hyperlocation, BLE, vBLE)
    • Chance to push loyalty apps
    • Wayfinding
    • Grabbing attendant attention
    • Users engagement
  • ‘physical’ stores experience tough times – use tech to steer users towards own online shops instead of closing businesses

Wireless Coverage Areas and different requirements?

  • Front of House
    • Areas where guests will be traversing through the centre
  • Back of House
    • Service corridors
    • Offices
    • Service yards
  • External
    • Outdoor shopping areas
    • Outdoor entertainment areas
  • Car Parks
    • People locating themselves back to where their car is parked

What Vendors for wireless analytics

  • Cisco + CMX + DNA Spaces
  • Meraki + Purple
  • Mist

Pick your AP wisely

  • Internal or external?
  • Needs more ruggedness?

Think about the config

  • Its hard to get to know the devices you design for as there could be any kind of legacy device a guest user could bring in – agree upfront with the retail management what the worst device you are willing to cater for.
  • Guest is usually open / open or open with captive portal
  • Can you / should you use just UNII1 and UNII2 channels?
  • Monitor mode WAPs
  • Watch the Tx power and data rates
  • Stick to 20Mhz wide channels
    • Bonded channels = more interference = lower SNR
    • Normally throughput is not a concern in retail
  • RX-SOP can mean drop offs mid roam for stickier
  • Devices might not like 802.11v – clients don’t like to be disassociated and v sends client a proposition to associate with other best AP, followed by a threat of disassociation if STA doesn’t jump on its own and a big chunk of clients don’t support it
  • Devices might not like 802.11r at all or some flavour of it

Mounting and positioning

  • Often very high
  • Concessions may not let you install WAPs in front of their shop fronts as it will not make it aesthetically pleasing
  • Most important after coverage is no CCI / ACI and fast roaming
  • Service yards – WAPs can get covered in a lot of crap quite easily so may need to consider IP rated boxes to protect them or external / ruggedized WAPs

Other standard considerations

  • Distance to the switch
  • PoE
  • Mounting restrictions
  • Obstructions, metal
  • Other networks
  • Interferers
  • Vendor choice
  • Architecture

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media!

Join us at Natilik HQ in London, where we’ll be hosting an 802.11ax focused event with juicy theory hands on demos. Drinks and food on us! Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-nomads-all-eyes-on-wifi-6-tickets-62909569215?aff=eac2

Cheers!

WN Podcast 013 – WiFi Design for Warehouse

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

In this episode Mac and Matt discuss at a high level how they design WiFi for the warehouse as they look to share their personal experience and tips with you.

Design recap (see episode 12):

  • Understand the purpose (data, high density, voice, scanners, etc.)
  • Capture success criteria (capacity, coverage, other RF elements, roaming)
  • Always go on site before and after (attenuation, RF condition, interferers, DFS, visual check)

Warehouse design challenges:

  • Often very high ceilings
  • Moving forklift trucks knocking off APs and antennas
  • Changing stock
    • Amazing WiFi during holidays season can go ‘tits up’ before Christmas
  • Changing racks layout
    • Matt can say something about it 😉
  • Changing requirements and purpose
    • Those scanners from 1999 might now be upgraded and need to support voice
  • Tons of obstructions
  • Legacy devices
    • Tendency to use old scanners forever
  • Weird devices (especially true for legacy ones)
    • Using specific channels only
      • 2.4 or 5GHz only
      • Limited 5GHz channels, in most cases UNII-1 only
    • Using specific data rates only
      • AP tries 54, fails, tries 48, fails, (…), settles on 2 Mbps – difficult to tshoot
    • Battery operated devices with failed implementation of battery saving mechanisms
      • Drops off
      • Doesn’t roam properly or quickly enough
  • Preferred authentication is often not supported
    • Security team crying about having to use PSK
  • Can be difficult to get to the AP or antenna if needed

Warehouse design essentials:

  • Choose the right antenna type for the job
    • Cover what needs to be covered
      • Coverage on the ground level, 15m up where the forklifts operate or both?
      • Propagation pattern
    • Reduce overlapping
      • Use the environment
      • Position antennas wisely
    • Environment can dictate antenna type
      • Omnidirectional won’t be great at 20m
      • Overlapping can be substantial with omnis in vast open spaces
      • Not always possible to put omni in the middle of the rack
  • Pick your AP wisely:
    • Cold or hot? Dust?
    • Internal or external?
    • Needs more ruggedness?
  • Think about the config:
    • Normally you’d have a different SSID for WH offices and WH packing / production / shifting
    • For WH offices design, listen to our previous episode
    • For WH production, keep it simple
    • Get to know the devices you design for – sometimes warehouses use very capable tablets or a mix or modern tablets and very old scanners
    • Roaming (quick one!) is extremely important
    • Can you / should you stick to PSK?
    • Can you / should you use just UNII1 and UNII2 channels?
    • Watch the Tx power and data rates
    • Will you survive on 20MHz? Normally WH capacity needs are low
    • Do you really need those bells and whistles for often very limited number of devices?
      • Bonded channels = more interference = lower SNR
      • RX-SOP can mean drop offs mid roam for stickier
      • Devices might not like 802.11v – clients don’t like to be disassociated and v sends client a proposition to associate with other best AP, followed by a threat of disassociation if STA doesn’t jump on its own and a big chunk of clients don’t support it
      • Devices might not like 802.11r at all or some flavour of it
    • Even old scanners normally support 802.11a and 2.4GHz is often noisy from both WiFi and non-WiFi interference; stick to 5GHz whenever possible
  • Mounting and positioning
    • Often very high
    • Few examples:
      • Patch or sector on the walls, covering entire or most of the aisle, tilted down, pointing towards the aisle’s end
        • Sometimes one AP per aisle is enough (up to 80-100m), sometimes two at both ends (more than 100m)
      • Patch or sector cone of coverage with antenna pointing down, antenna mounted to the ceiling, duct or suspended
      • Omni with external antennas pointed up or down, mounted to the wall, beam or column, away from the metal surfaces
      • AP/antenna placed in a heated or cooled Nema enclosure
    • Ensure basic AP redundancy – it’s not easy nor quick to replace one
    • Most important after coverage is no CCI / ACI and fast roaming
    • Ensure speeding clients, both human on forklifts and robots (have you seen automated warehouses yet?), are associated with the AP you want them to be associated with and that they roam where and when we want

Other standard considerations

  • Distance to the switch
  • PoE
  • Mounting restrictions
  • Obstructions, metal
  • Other networks
  • Interferers
  • Vendor choice
  • Architecture

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media.

WN Podcast 012 – WiFi Design for Enterprise

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

In this episode Mac and Matt discuss at a high level how they design WiFi for the enterprise as they look to share their personal experience and tips with you.

Capture requirements:

  • High Density / data (to be covered in more details in future episode)
  • Voice (see episode 11 with Andy)
  • RTLS (to be covered in more details in future episode)
    • Zone analytics
    • Location tracking or wayfinding
      • Trilateration
      • Hyperlocation
      • BLE / vBLE
      • Asset tracking / tags
      • Apps or no apps

Capture success criteria:

  • Capacity
    • Apps in use
    • Head count
    • Devices in use
    • Device count
  • Physical
    • SNR
    • RSSI
    • Overlapping

Make basics right:

  • Do a proper survey (see episode 3 – predictive survey)
  • Go to the site
    • Measure walls and ceilings attenuation
    • Understand mounting limitations
    • Check RF
    • Check DFS
  • APs count, model, antenna and placement for different use case
    • Omni vs directional
    • Aesthetic considerations
      • Visible or not
      • Flat antenna under the ceiling and AP in plenum?
      • Colour
    • Architectural considerations
      • Listed buildings
      • Custom requirements – lifts, landlord owned staircases, steel beams etc.
    • High density / basic data
      • Focus on capacity and coverage
    • Voice
      • Focus on roaming
    • RTLS
      • Focus on location accuracy
  • Physical APs mounting considerations
    • Obstructions
      • Reflectors
      • Absorbers
      • Scaterers (is that a word?)
    • Consider wavelength if mounting really close to the obstructions, especially if they’re highly reflective
      • AP at least 1 wavelength away
      • 2.4GHz wavelength: 12.5cm
      • 5GHz wavelength: 6cm
    • Consider close field interference
    • Consider overlaid wireless (not only WiFi) networks
    • Consider other interferers

Vendor / partner choice:

  • Staff skills
  • Managed services?
  • Fit for purpose
    • Is on-prem or cloud a preference?
    • Consider the complexity of the solution vs benefits

Architecture:  (to be covered in more details in future episode)

  • All the above will dictate architecture choices
  • Management
  • Data switching
  • Authentication

Keith Parson AP Power Level Chart:

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media.

WN Podcast 011 – Voice over WiFi with Andrew McHale

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

We’re lucky again to get a chance to speak with a true legend! This time around we chat with Andrew McHale discussing some juicy voice design tips.

A bit about Andy:

  • Worked for Vocera for 8 years as an implementation engineer
  • Assess Vocera Badge and smartphone performance on customer WLAN’s
  • Part of Vocera’s internal Wireless Council
  • Assessed hospitals, libraries, hotels, schools, offices, and a superyacht for VoWLAN quality
  • Assessed in Asia, Middle East, Europe, UK and North America

Coverage:

  • At least 1 access point at a minimum of -67dBm everywhere.
  • Ideally 2 access points greater than -67dBm everywhere.
  • Access points in corridors… Bad?

Avoid DFS Channels:

  • DFS channels add a LOT of time to scanning

Advertise SSID in Beacons!

Channel Plan:

  • We used to cope with 3 – 4 channels in a very crowded band
  • 5GHz is a cleaner band
  • Voice devices often scan all configured channels
  • Europe/UK only has 4 non-DFS channels
  • 36-64 if indoor only, 36-48 + 100-112 if supporting outdoors
  • Sharing is Caring – use 11k.

Channel Widths:

  • Use 20MHz Wide Channels
  • Only using 8 channels (right…!), we can’t afford to bond them.
  • Voice doesn’t need 20MHz, let alone 40MHz.
  • 5 SNR everywhere is challenging, why take a 3-6dBm Noise hit because you’re bonding channels.

PSK, OKC or 11r:

  • What do we want? FAST ROAMS! When do we want them? EVERYTIME!
  • Pre-shared key 4 way handshake is quick and consistent
  • What is quicker than PSK exchanges? No exchanges!
  • OKC/11r can save the client performing the full re-auth
  • DO NOT make a voice client perform RADIUS authentication every time.

No subnet roaming:

  • 400ms is a quick DHCP exchange. No biggie right?
  • Voice needs delay below 150ms.
  • 400-800ms (DHCP) + 100-200ms (Roam) = sad faces!
  • Ensure voice clients only perform DHCP at Association
  • Set lease renewal to an entire shift (8hr in business, 12hr in Hospitality/Healthcare)

QoS End-to-End:

  • End-to-End QoS is hard.
  • Suck it up buttercup, this is why you get the big bucks!
  • Peer-to-peer voice clients need it to avoid downstream voice packets casually skipping along holding hands with Facebook status updates…

AP Power Levels:

  • 2011 –  “Please turn your AP’s Down, they’re on Max power”
  • Too much CCI
  • 2019 – “Please turn your AP’s Up, they’re on Min power”
  • Too much roaming
  • Put a leash on RRM.
  • Don’t leave -125dBm/30dBm defaults, we’re better than that.

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media.

WN Podcast 010 – 802.11ax with David Coleman

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode.

In this episode we feel very privileged to have a true WiFi Legend on as our guest – David Colemen from Aerohive discuss all things 802.11ax.

A bit about David:

  • CWNE number 4
  • Director of Technical Education and Marketing
  • Primary company liaison to the Wi-Fi Alliance
  • Senior technical evangelist for Aerohive
  • Published WLAN author

What is 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6?

  • The next generation of the Wi-Fi standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, the latest step in a journey of nonstop innovation. The standard builds on the strengths of 802.11ac while adding efficiency, flexibility, and scalability that allows new and existing networks increased speed and capacity with next-generation applications.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) proposed the 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 standard so it can couple the freedom and high speed of Gigabit Ethernet wireless with the reliability and predictability found in licensed radio.

Is Wi-Fi 6 different from 802.11ax?

  • No, they are the same. The Wi-Fi Alliance started a campaign to coin the term “Wi-Fi 6” when referring to the IEEE 802.11ax standard. It indicates that it is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi. The premise was to simplify the marketing message to help 802.11ax be better positioned relative to the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards used in cellular (such as 5G). Wi-Fi 6 will also be the name of the Wi-Fi Alliance certification for 802.11ax inter-operability.

What are the benefits of 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6?

  • Wi-Fi 6 allows enterprises and service providers to support new and emerging applications on the same wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure while delivering a higher grade of service to older applications. This scenario sets the stage for new business models and increased Wi-Fi adoption.  The main benefit will be all about better more efficient use of the existing frequency space.

High Level overview of what’s new/ improved in 802.11ax:

  • OFDMA – Better use of the frequency space.
  • BSS Colour/ Spatial reuse operation – mitigate CCI.
  • Uplink and Downlink MU-MIMO.
  • 1024-QAM Higher Data Rates.
  • Target Wake Time (TWT).

OFMA – The secret sauce of 802.11ax!

  • OFDMA the AP is in charge.
  • Rules of contention still apply, however the AP controls the medium during a TXOP for both downlink and uplink.
  • Can also work with 40Mhz and 80Mhz channels.
  • Sub channel utilisation – resource units.
  • OFDMA can use a narrower portion of the frame so that means we can send to 4 stations at the same time.
  • AC and previous we would have to go to 1 station at a time.
  • Huge efficiency gains when our clients also support 802.11ax.

What is MU-MIMO?

  • The term multi-user (MU) simply means that transmissions between an AP and multiple clients can occur at the same time dependent on the supported technology.

Technology Dimensions:

  • Denser modulation using 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), enabling a more than 35 percent speed burst.
  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)-based scheduling to reduce overhead and latency.
  • Robust high-efficiency signalling for better operation at a significantly lower Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
  • Better scheduling and longer device battery life with Target Wake Time (TWT).

1024-QAM in 802.11ax:

  • Higher modulation rates require better signal quality or (SNR).
  • 1024 QAM will require an even better signal than 256-QAM from 802.11ac.
  • Greater sensitivity required – will have to be closer to the AP and good SNR to be able to de-modulate the info.

802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6 Benefits:

  • Wi-Fi 6 will build on the success of 802.11ac. It will let access points support more clients in dense environments and will provide a better experience for typical wireless LAN networks. It will also provide a more predictable performance for advanced applications such as 4K or 8K video, high-density high-definition collaboration apps, all-wireless offices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Wi-Fi 6 will drive Wi-Fi toward the future as the growth of wireless continues.

Is there any benefit for legacy clients? Yes and no!

  • 802.11ax APs will not improve the performance or efficiency of any legacy Wi-Fi clients (802.11a/b/g/n/ac).
  • However, as we see more 802.11ax clients mixed into the client population, the efficiency improvements gained by 802.11ax clients will free up the valuable airtime for those older clients and therefore an overall efficiency of the system.

 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6 APs:

  • There are some Wi-Fi 6 access points already on the market, targeted for early adopters and customers who are eager to test the new standard. The access points that are released early will be pre-standard APs because the standard will not yet have been ratified. This means key features that are part of Wi-Fi 6 may not be supported on some of these initial, pre-standard access points. However, when available, some of these access points will be able to become certified through software updates and Wi-Fi 6 features will be supported. This approach is similar to the introduction of prior generations such 802.11ac and 802.11n.

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

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media.

WN Podcast 008 – Ekahau Connect with Jussi Kiviniemi

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode! We know that this is not our usual day for posting but we wanted to get this out to you guys ASAP!

This is a special episode to discuss some real juicy changes that are coming to Ekahau and their Sidekicks. On the show today we are joined by Jussi Kiviniemi – plus a small feature from a couple more of the Ekahau guys – Teemu Pulkkinen & Jarno Leppänen.

Our minds are blown and we think yours will be as well 😉

So what’s new?

  • Completely re-written user interface
    • 428% faster!
    • Familiar feel… yet a lot of things have changed.
    • Can name simulated APs and keep model number on APs
    • Can change type of multiple APs now at the same time
  • 802.11ax
    • Planning (Cisco C911x, Aruba 515, Aerohive,..)
    • Site surveys (using sidekick)
  • Interferer classification
    • RTFM
    • On the map
    • 7-8 devices to start with
    • Interferer impact
  • All sidekicks ever sold:
    • Have 128gb storage unlocked
    • Interference detection
    • 802.11ax site surveys
    • Software upgrade only required
  • Ekahau rebranded naming convention and features
    • Ekahau Connect
  • Ekahau site survey – Ekahau Pro
    • Flagship Wi-Fi tool for Wi-Fi planning, site surveys, optimization, reporting etc..
  • Ekahau Sidekick
    • The #1 Wi-Fi Diagnostics hardware, works with Ekahau Pro, Survey and Capture
  • Ekahau Survey for iPad
    • The simple yet 100% professional on-site survey tool.
  • Ekahau Cloud
    • Safe and secure collaboration, automatic project saving and convenience.
  • Ekahau Capture
    • Wi-Fi packet capture tool for capturing the hairiest situations.
    • Can capture on 2 channels
    • Can set channel dwell time
    • Exports PCAP to your desktop

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe, tell your friend, family or just follow us on social media 🙂 

WN Podcast 007 – Post-Deployment Survey – 4P Part 3

Welcome to our fresh & hot, new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode 🙂

Matt has spent last few weeks on site working on projects every single day and he’s working from home today on a design for the first time in ages.

Mac is still on site in Dublin and he has hijacked client’s meeting room recording this podcast on the new WiFi he’s just put in.

Busy times! But no challenge, no fun. We take it all with a massive smile on our faces as we enjoy it as f….resh cup of coffee in the morning.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • What is a Post-Deployment Survey?
    • RF design validation
    • APs & Antennas installation validation
    • RSSI & SNR validation
    • Channel overlapping validation
    • Spectrum utilisation and interference validation
    • RF configuration validation – channels, Tx, rates
  • 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 post-deployment survey to save costs
    • Encourage more tests with client devices against success criteria – i.e. test roaming speed with all types of corporate devices while on a call in wireless first voice optimised deployment etc.
    • Capturing as-is condition of a wireless network / documentation
    • Perfect opportunity to make final RF adjustments and ensure new wireless deployment is performing optimally.
  • Post-Deployment Survey Tools
    • Ekahau / Sidekick
    • See episode 2 for more info
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Completed new deployment
    • At least 24 hours after the deployment to allow for RRM to settle
  • How do you perform Post-Deployment 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

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media 🙂

High five!

WN Podcast 006 – Stadium WiFi with Ash Georgeson

Isn’t the weather in the UK nice now? It’s not raining. It’s been a while since it has. We can see the sun and it’s amazing!

Welcome to our sixth WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode 🙂

It’s our second interview and we start to love it, as our interviewees do all the hard work when we can just sit, listen to them and sip our earl grey. Jokes aside, we do hope that you guys like listening to the experts in their areas of expertise as much as we do.

Ash is the geekiest WiFi Solutions Architect that we know and spending several years of his career working on projects followed by a few years of being an SA makes Ash a dinosaur in the field. He’s got the looks, great voice and bags full of experience 🙂

Today we have discussed a stadium WiFi design, where Ash has covered quite a few of unique topics, that would hopefully help us all designing wireless for such massive venues.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • Wireless Physical Design
    • Where to mount APs and antennas?
    • As close to the users: overhead > under seat > patches through concrete? > hand rails
    • Antennas types?
    • 2.4 vs 5GHz? Is 2.4 still needed there?
  • Wireless Configuration
    • High Density Optimisations
    • Reserved channels to ensure capacity for non-fans?
      • House keeping, media staff, staff comms, VIPs
    • Rate limiting approach
      • Per client, per SSID, none?
    • Roaming approach
      • Is it a real concern?
  • Apps
    • Apps used by clients
      • Replays, current score, stats etc
      • Social media
      • Order food?
    • Apps used by owners
      • Comms with security and stewards
      • Digital ticketing
      • Queue monitoring
      • Managing building infra
  • Project Lifecycle
    • Project Management of this thing
    • Predictive, pre-deployment and post deployment surveys etc.
    • Liasing with contractors and 3rd parties
    • Additional Testing?
  • LAN & WAN
    • Internet pipe
    • LAN structure
    • Throughput concerns
    • Cabling
  • Security
    • Onboarding
    • Auth
    • What infra used?
    • Encryption
    • Content filtering
    • Additional security features
  • Challenges
    • APs placement / antennas mounting
    • Maintain small cell sizes
    • Bottlenecks
    • Anything else?
  • Tips
  • Lessons learned
    • Things you did right
    • Things you had to spent tons of time fixing
  • Real world usage during games
    • 30-40% uptake?
    • More in media areas?
    • Bandwidth utilisation?
    • Per AP utilisation?

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Cheeeeeers!