Wi-Fi Site Survey Case Study

Wi-Fi Site Survey Case Study

After the initial contact from the customer, who detailed the problem, we proposed to conduct a thorough audit of the Wi-Fi network to verify: performance, installation, and configuration of the current setup. Based on the current situation and found issues, the target was to provide a list of suggested improvements.

Client:

Global eCommerce company

Implemented services:

  • Technical Consulting
  • Wireless Site Survey
  • Wi-Fi Audit

Engagement:

Two wireless engineers

Problem

The customer was experiencing poor Wi-Fi performance in three offices at various European locations. The issues included: low data rates, connection drops, low video calls quality, problems with accessing the Wi-Fi network, missing Access-Points (APs).

Audit plan

  1. Service preparation (1 day, remote):
    1. Q&A with the customer’s IT operations manager at each location to gather information on the particular issues experienced by the end-users.
    2. Audit of the wireless controller to collect information on the setup, configuration, and issues.
  2. On-site service (1 day, on-site):
    1. Site survey with active (throughput, delay) and passive (coverage, SNR, channel overlap) measurements.
    2. On-site AP mounting and location verification.
    3. Live performance troubleshooting in the wireless controller.
  3. Audit summary part (2 days, remote):
    1. Analyzing all the information and report preparation which included found issues and suggestions for improvements.
    2. Planning of the new AP location.

Troubleshooting Client’s Wi-Fi – recommendations

  • Audit for each of the locations took 4 days.
  • Each of the Wi-Fi networks at the customer’s site had 30+ APs and served 200+ users.
  • Some of the found issues included:
    • bad mounting of some APs,
    • not-optimal AP location,
    • using 2.4 GHz for dense-network,
    • the too low number of APs in areas where there are a lot of users,
    • wrongly configured radio resource management algorithms,
    • too high transmit power for APs.
  • Some of the suggested improvements included:
    • switching-off 2.4 GHz band, and use it only where/when needed;
    • changing the location of the APs – move them to central locations and close to where the users are;
    • changing mounting of the APs – to decrease disturbance from the metal elements;
    • decreasing transmit power – to decrease overshooting;
    • using dedicated APs for conference rooms and separate for open spaces;
    • decreasing the number of SSIDs to the minimum – to save the “air-time”.

Summary

The customer’s IT team changed AP location according to the new plan, corrected mounting of the APs, adjusted wireless parameters (like bandwidth, transmit power available channels), and tuned radio-resource management algorithms. The performance of the network was improved: lower call-drop rates, higher data rates per end-user, higher quality of the video calls.

See also