Wi-Fi Deployment

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Client:
WebGeniusLab
Date:
May 5, 2019
Website:
yousite.com
Category:
Ideas, Design

As Wi-Fi continues to become ubiquitous, there is an increasing number of devices consuming an increasing amount of bandwidth. The increased need for pervasive connectivity can put additional strain on wireless deployments. Adapting to these changing needs will not always require more access points to support greater client density. As the needs for wireless connectivity have changed over time, the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standards have changed to adapt to greater density, from the earliest 802.11a and 802.11b standards in 1999 to the most recent 802.11ac standard, introduced in 2013 and the new 802.11ax standard currently being developed.

How it Works?

The process to design a Wi-Fi network centers around a physical site survey to determine the fewest number of access points that would provide sufficient coverage. By evaluating survey results against a predefined minimum acceptable signal strength, the design would be considered a success. While this methodology works well to design for coverage, it does not take into account requirements based on the number of clients, their capabilities, and their applications’ bandwidth needs.

High-Density Wi-Fi

High-density Wi-Fi is a design strategy for large deployments to provide pervasive connectivity to clients when a high number of clients are expected to connect to Access Points within a small space. A location can be classified as high-density if more than 30 clients are connecting to an AP.

Large campuses with multiple floors, distributed buildings, office spaces, and large event spaces are considered high density due to the number of access points and devices connecting. More extreme examples of high-density environments include sports stadiums, university auditoriums, casinos, event centers, and theaters.

Understanding the requirements for a high-density design is the first step to help ensure a successful deployment design. This planning helps reduce the need for further site surveys after installation and for the need to deploy additional access points over time. It is recommended to have the following details before moving onto the next steps in the design process:

  • Type of applications expected on the network
  • Supported technologies (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
  • Type of clients to be supported (Number of spatial streams, technologies, etc.)
  • Areas to be covered
  • Expected number of simultaneous devices in each area
  • Aesthetic requirements (if any)
  • Cabling constraints (if any)
  • Power constraints (It’s best to have PoE+ capable infrastructure to support high performance APs)

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