Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>

Gary Audin | January 08, 2016 |


Implementing Wi-Fi Successfully

Implementing Wi-Fi Successfully From the installation, to the configuration and monitoring, there are many things to keep your eye on with Wi-Fi implementations.

From the installation, to the configuration and monitoring, there are many things to keep your eye on with Wi-Fi implementations.

Many think of implementing a Wi-Fi network as easy because they did it at home. The home installation has far fewer problems and considerations when compared to an enterprise installation covering offices and work areas.

In my previous blog, Wi-Fi Planning: Do It Right the First Time, I discussed the planning process and the questions that need to be addressed. In this blog, I will take a closer look at the installation, configuration, and monitoring of the Wi-Fi installation. The inspiration for this blog was a one-day seminar on Wi-Fi I attended that was put on by Adtran, a provider of telecommunications networking equipment and internetworking products.

Installation Recommendations and Requirements

If you have performed an adequate Wi-Fi network design, then you need to install the access points (APs), arrange the channel assignments, and adjust the power settings. Position the antennas for maximum coverage. Install the APs above room furniture and office partitions. If the AP is on the ceiling, make sure that the antennas point downward. By properly grounding the APs, you reduce the noise level that interferes with the APs. Grounding is especially important if the APs are outdoors.

The ADTRAN seminar provided some tips on ensuring that your onsite survey is accurate:

  • Calibrate the site drawings accurately. Guessing is not enough. Think of it as a drafting project.
  • If you test in advance, ensure you use the right frequency(s), 2.4Ghz and/or 5 Ghz.
  • Perform a signal propagation assessment. Your signal reach may be shorter than anticipated.

You will be cabling to the APs. Allow 20 to 30 ft. of extra cabling especially for ceiling installations. It is unlikely that you will use 802.11b, therefore disable this function. When you name and locate the APs, use the building and room numbers combined with a visual setting (on the ceiling or the wall next to room #xx). Logical names will still have to be translated in real locations. Save the time involved in locating APs by using descriptive names.

Design Validation and Verification

You may have confidence in your or your VAR's design, but you will not know how well it works until you try it.

  • Perform an active and passive site survey after installation.
  • Verify the signal coverage and the throughput available throughout the site.
  • Use some of the customers' devices to spot check the deployment.
  • Look for electronic noise producers. The Wi-Fi signal to noise ratio should exceed 20dB.
  • There are co-channels in Wi-Fi. They can interfere with each other, thereby reducing the number of simultaneous users.
  • Don't verify through doorways; test through the walls.
  • Test inside and outside the rooms and building. Let the test run for a minute or more to stabilize the measurements.
  • Don't skip any location that will or may have a user device. Stairwells are usually missed. A user may walk in the stairwell or closet with their laptop, tablets, or phone and lose a connection.
  • Validate that the signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, and interference areas are designed to satisfy.
  • When verifying the installation, think of what a user would do, not what they should do.
  • Go back and alter the design to compensate for any discovered problems.


See Gary Audin speak in the SIP and SIP trunking track at Enterprise Connect 2016, March 7 to 10, in Orlando, Fla. View the track sessions here.

Enterprise Connect Advance Rate ends Friday, Jan. 8!

Register for an entire event pass or Tuesday through Thursday conference pass to save an additional $200 off the advance rate. This special discount, available using the code NJPOST, represents a total savings of $900 off the onsite price! Plus, register three or more attendees from your company for even bigger savings.

Network Monitoring

It is uncommon that the initial installation is the final configuration. The materials of the walls and the furniture may be inaccurate or some of the furniture, like metal cabinets may have been moved. The plasterboard wall may actually be covering a concrete or cinder block load bearing wall.

The wireless needs of the users can change. Offices and rooms may be modified. The number of users could increase or decrease or change their locations.

Interference can change. New wireless Internet of Things devices may be added for environmental control or security that use the same frequencies as Wi-Fi. Wireless devices transmit lower power signals at two to four times their normal frequency range, creating harmonics and thereby causing interference for Wi-Fi signals.

A spectrum analyzer is a device that captures and displays raw RF signals both in and out of the Wi-Fi frequency range. The analyzer displays the competing signals in the Wi-Fi signal spectrum. The spectrum analyzer is probably not worth buying unless there are a number of Wi-Fi deployments planned. The analyzer could be provided by a consultant or VAR for temporary use.

Troubleshooting the Network

Wi-Fi networks cover the bottom two layers of a network. Layer 1 is the RF medium. Layer 2 is the data link layer. You need to troubleshoot each separately. For Layer 1, RF medium tools include Wi-Fi scanners and spectrum analyzers. These tools can detect other devices using the same frequencies as Wi-Fi such as cordless phones and detect interference.

Layer 2, the data link layer, generates and transports the data packets. The main function is successful packet delivery, detect and correct transmission errors, and retransmit lost packets. Layer two is a version of Ethernet protocol designed for wireless operation. This version acknowledges the packets. The error and packet loss are far greater with Wi-Fi than on cat 5 and 6 cable or fiber. The packet loss can be as high 30%. The end result is that the useful Wi-Fi speed is about half the rated speed. A protocol analyzer is the tool to use for diagnosing layer 2 problems.


Check out this recap of Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017, and register now to join us in 2018 and save $200 off or get a Free Expo Plus Pass.

Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

January 24, 2018

Communications, collaboration, and contact center systems are all being delivered from the cloud, to more enterprises each year. With the cloud growing in strategic importance, the question is what

February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.