A well-functioning wireless network is the foundation of IoT or Enterprise Mobility. Just like water, gas and light, wireless has become a necessity for a successful business. Do you have plans to install a wireless infrastructure? Or do you want to expand your existing WIFI network to solve the weak spots? Read along and use the checklist that we have made for you.
Dalosy is specialised in implementing and managing wireless networks. During an implementation we often see that companies focus too much on details. When in fact, it is better to pay more attention to the basic elements that are important for the operation, stability and continuity of the WIFI network.
How to implement a wireless network
All companies are different. A logistic provider that wants to work wireless throughout the entire distribution center has other requirements than an airport that wants to create a WIFI hotspot in the departure hall.
Both situations include a large area where hundreds or thousands of people walk around every day. Yet, these situations are very different. At the distribution centre, all these people are working with a handheld terminal that is constantly connected to the Warehouse Management Software system via WIFI. At the departure hall, those thousands of people have their own mobile phone or laptop with them. They want to quickly look up information about their flight and they often have their boarding pass on their mobile phone. They check their mail. All over the world, they text their loved ones at home to let them know that they are on their way. The wireless network must be able to handle all of this and the coverage must be optimally arranged.
Every project is different. Nevertheless, there are a number of fixed elements that are essential for a successful implementation of wireless. That’s why we made this handy checklist for you. Take advantage of our experience and lay a solid foundation for your wireless.
1. Set up your wishes and requirements for your wireless network
What do you want to use WIFI for? Is it for data, voice, video, locationing, hotspots? Or a combination of those purposes? Each application demands certain requirements which the system must meet. Make a list of your purposes, requirements and wishes for the WIFI network.
2. Make a plan
To create a proper functioning WIFI network, you need a plan. Although technology is changing rapidly, you are better prepared for the future if you have a good plan. A solid basis is and remains the best starting point.
To make a plan, you should first that a look at the existing network infrastructure. Can you still use it for the new situation? Or does something need to be replaced, expanded or improved? And what about the cabling, switches and other network components: are they suitable for what you want to achieve?
3. Have a Site Survey carried out
The quality of your WIFI network stands and falls with a thorough site survey. You need an expert who measures the entire location. He or she can determine how many access points is needed to obtain good coverage for your situation and location. In addition, it’s important to determine where they should be placed. It’s not a matter of ‘the more, the better’. If you place too much access points, they can get in the way of each other. During a site survey, the expert also looks at how they must be assembled. If you place them behind an air conditioner, a cable duct or a steel beam, this will affect their range and coverage. The expert knows how to approach this strategically.
The site survey also takes into account interference from other sources. For example, an alarm system, a camera that sends a signal or a speedometer from the police that happens to be set up just alongside the road. All these sources can cause WIFI interference.
At Dalosy we make a detailed report of each site survey. You can use this document for your project plan.
4. Choose the right frequency
You can use WIFI on the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz frequency. The amount of data traffic in your area determines which frequency suits you best. A network engineer of Dalosy measures this during the site survey.
A retail store in the city centre is surrounded by other companies that all have WIFI. The 5 GHz frequency band has more channels available, so you’ll have less chance of interference from other wireless devices. With this frequency band you’ll also have no interference from Bluetooth, alarm systems or other wireless audio equipment. The 5 GHz frequency band has a smaller range than the standard 2.4 GHz frequency band.
5. Think about the security requirements you want for your WIFI
How is the security at this moment? Can it be improved? If so, this is a great opportunity to move to the newest standard. Don’t forget to also involve people who manage IT and/or the business applications. They have often already thought about security. Communication about and during this project is very important.
There are various techniques available to secure your WIFI network. Make sure you get well informed about this. Authentication is often set according a certain standard. For example, you can set up a combination with your own company login. Determine in advance what is workable. Which people need access to which applications? How many people must have access to the system? Do many people use your guest network? A good conversation about security is definitely not a bad idea.
6. Choose the right access points
The access point itself is also available in various designs. There are access points with an internal antenna and access points with an external antenna. The first variant looks nicer. You often see them in retail stores. Devices with an internal antenna can only be used in areas that are max. 3 meters high. Spaces with higher ceiling often require an access point with an external antenna. The external antenna makes the device more powerful. Hence, your environment determines your choice.
Have you checked off everything from the list? Now then, it’s time to actually install the WIFI network and start testing. Do you need help making the right choices? Call one of our professional network engineers!