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Validating A Wireless Deployment

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Photo credit: Oliver Tacke

This is third installment of a 3-part series on Successful Wireless Deployments.

In Part I, Gathering Wireless Design Requirements, we discuss gathering requirements before any sort of planning or design work.

In Part II – Performing a Wireless Site Survey, we discuss the tools used to conduct a predictive or active site survey and also a spectrum analysis.

The final step, after deploying your wireless network is to validating the deployment. Don’t dust off your hands just yet. After the access points are installed, you’ll want to verify that your design works as planned.

This step is often skipped and forgotten. Another term used to describe this step is a post deployment survey.

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What’s the process?

Your validation process should include verifying many aspects gathered in the previous phases.

  • Signal propagation
  • Coverage
  • Roaming
  • Channel reuse
  • Data rates
  • and more

Ekahau Site Survey is a great tool to use to validate your wireless deployment. The same application is used to perform your predictive or active site survey. On the same project file you perform another survey which is your validation survey.

The results of the validation survey may indicate room for optimization. Some things you may need to optimize:

  • 2.4 GHz cochannel interference
  • Coverage holes
  • Incorrect access point placement
  • New sources of interference

Typically, a report is generated for the client as proof that the wireless network has been designed and deployed to meet their requirements.

Conclusion

Take some time to jump for joy if you’ve successfully deployed a wireless network. But keep in mind that wireless is a cycle. We plan, implement, operate, and optimize. Just like any other network implementation, there is always room for optimization and improvement.


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