A post-secondary educational institution had implemented a site-wide, Cisco based wireless LAN network across several of their campus locations. Their IT department received numerous complaints from wireless clients experiencing issues with weak signal strength, packet loss, and connections being dropped on a regular basis. At the time there were over 1,500 access points deployed within the environment.
The client had requested that a wireless LAN site survey be conducted at two of their primary campuses, totaling approximately 1,600,000 sq.ft. The purpose of the survey was to diagnose and report on problem areas and provide appropriate recommendations for them to improve the wireless performance.
The Syscomm Group conducted a wireless LAN site survey at the requested campuses affected by issues. With the use of a mobile wireless data collection equipment we gathered information on radio frequency channel use, performance rates, signal strength, and interference levels. A significant number of data points were sampled (approximately 1 per every 250 sq. ft.) from within every room and hallway for each building of each campus.
After the data collection process we compiled reports with specialized wireless signal analysis software based on each SSID and access point available in the area. This report contained detailed information of the coverage area, signal penetration, channel interference, etc. on a per access point basis. In this scenario it was particularly useful to be able to identify access points within the vicinity of the clients’ network broadcasting on independent SSIDs and networks. These access points were not permitted as per premises policy.
We have met and exceeded the client’s expectations of both the quantity and quality of information provided to them. The local IT department was very pleased with our thorough coverage of the campus – detailing hot and cool signal areas, problem areas for interference, snapshots of the RF spectrum and a virtual mapping of first and third party access points. The data collected by Syscomm has since enabled them to make vast improvements to the performance and reliability of their wireless network.