Network Audit & Site Survey

A site survey is a set of procedures that allows the surveyor to understand the physical environment from an RF perspective and the business requirements of the WLAN set forth by the WLAN owner.

These procedures allow the surveyor to design a WLAN that will have the coverage and capacity to allow applications to perform properly over the wireless network. A site survey is often the most important piece of WLAN design for many reasons, including allowing the surveyor to estimate how much equipment will be needed for the WLAN to operate as required by the owner.

BBRS consulting services include:

  • Visual Site Survey
  • Remote site Survey using sophisticated RF Modelling and Simulation
  • Full RF Site Survey : on-site Survey
  • Site Survey and Audit of existing Wireless Network
  • Wireless Network Analysis and Troubleshooting Survey

We employ an extensive range of tools, including:

  • Aruba planning tools
  • AirMagnet Planner
  • AirMagnet Surveyor
  • AirMagnet analyser
  • AirMagnet Spectrum analyser
  • 802.11n enteprise-grade access points from multiple vendors
  • A wide range of WLAN antennas
  • Mesh wireless network products from multiple vendors

BBRS Consulting conducts both indoor and outdoor site surveys. Some of the characteristics that we cover in our RF site surveys are:

  • Propagation studies of a facility or area needed to determine existing and new RF coverage areas
  • Effects of walls, floors, doors, windows, plumbing, elevators, trees, buildings, mountains, etc. on RF signal behavior
  • Antenna requirements
  • Power outputs
  • Channel utilization
  • RF interference source types and locations
  • The most appropriate Wi-Fi band to use for particular applications

Factors taken into considerations when conducting site surveys:

  • Number of users per AP
  • Throughput and latency requirements of applications
  • RF frequencies in use
  • Ambient interference
  • Attenuation values of building construction materials
  • Transmission power and receiver sensitivity
  • Antenna gain and directivity
  • Physical security requirements
  • WLAN architecture type to be deployed (SCA, MCA, Mesh, Array, Cooperative Control, etc.)
  • Client roaming requirements

The success of any site survey depends on understanding our customer’s requirements for deploying a WLAN. For each site survey project, Meetings and interviews with all parties (stakeholders) who will be affected by the implementation are always scheduled in advance of the site survey and implementation. This allows the BBRS Consulting site surveyor to know the minimum and maximum signaling rates that must be planned for, the number and type of client stations that will be used, and the applications that will be used. It will also allow the surveyor to plan for load balancing and roaming capabilities.
Depending on the size of the project and the purpose, the meetings and interviews may include in general the following:

Information from the surveyor:

  • Brief explanation of WLANs
  • Brief introduction to site surveys

Information from managers, department heads, and network administrators:

  • Business requirements and purpose of the WLAN
  • Why is the organization considering a WLAN?
  • What will the WLAN be used for?
  • What is the proposed budget for the WLAN?
  • What is the time-frame for the survey, installation, and operational testing?
  • What is the expected growth of the WLAN user population?
  • Technical requirements
  • What are the performance requirements?
  • What are the coverage requirements?
  • Is this a pre-installation or post-installation site survey?
  • How many simultaneous users are in each area?
  • What are the application types that will be used?
  • What are the roaming requirements?
  • Is a digital or printed copy of the floor plan available?
  • Are there inaccessible locations or locations where APs cannot be located?
  • In what ways can APs be mounted (on drop ceiling, above ceiling, on walls, on cubes, etc.)?
  • Security requirements
  • Are there compliance requirements?
  • Is a Wireless Intrusion Protection System (WIPS) required?
  • *Gather as much information as possible up front
  • *Understand customer’s security concerns and requirements
  • Available resources
  • How much electrical power is available and where is it located?
  • Do edge Ethernet switches currently support 802.3af PoE?
  • Where are wiring closets located and are they within 100 meters of proposed AP locations?
  • Is an existing site survey document available?
  • Existing wired and wireless networks
  • What’s the speed of edge ports available for AP connectivity?

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