aug 31 - 2023

Wireless Site Surveys: An Essential Step in Ensuring Seamless Connectivity

Organizations that rely on a strong, consistent Wi-Fi signal or that are finding dead zones throughout their business or campus should consider investing in a wireless site survey.

In today's digitally interconnected world, a strong and reliable wireless network is crucial for businesses and organizations to thrive. Whether you're setting up a new network, optimizing an existing one, or diagnosing weak signal areas, a wireless site survey is an essential step in ensuring seamless connectivity. 

Performing a wireless site survey can greatly benefit your company's wireless network performance, but it's important to determine whether your specific situation warrants conducting a survey and if it’s something that should be done internally or through a professional provider. This blog aims to provide you with the necessary information to make the right decisions in regard to investing in a wireless site survey. 


What is a wireless site survey and what information does it provide?

A wireless site survey serves as a foundational step in designing, optimizing, and deploying a reliable and efficient wireless network. Its primary purpose is to gather accurate data and insights about the radio frequency (RF) environment within a specific location. This information is then used to plan, configure, and position wireless access points (APs) and other network infrastructure components in a way that maximizes coverage, minimizes interference and ensures optimal performance. Additionally, site surveys can help diagnose wireless dead spots and what’s causing the issue. 

Below, we have highlighted the key functions of a wireless site survey:

Coverage and Capacity Planning: A site survey helps determine the ideal number and placement of wireless access points to provide adequate coverage throughout the target area. It considers factors such as building layout, size, and usage patterns to ensure that users have reliable connectivity wherever they are.

Signal Strength and Coverage Analysis: The survey measures the signal strength and coverage of wireless signals across different areas of the site. This analysis helps identify potential dead zones, areas with weak signals, and areas with signal overlap that could lead to interference.

Interference Identification: Interference from other wireless networks, electronic devices, and physical obstacles can degrade wireless performance. A site survey identifies sources of interference and recommends strategies to mitigate their impact on the network.

Channel Allocation and Frequency Planning: To minimize interference and optimize performance, the survey helps determine the best channels and frequencies for each access point. This prevents channel congestion and co-channel interference.

Roaming and Handover Analysis: In environments where users move between different areas, like in a large office or a campus, the survey helps ensure smooth roaming and handover between access points without experiencing disconnects.

Capacity and Load Analysis: The survey considers the number of users and their expected data usage to ensure that the network can handle the projected traffic without becoming overloaded. This is crucial for preventing slow performance during peak usage times.

Security Considerations: The survey helps identify potential security vulnerabilities, such as areas with weak signal coverage that could lead to unauthorized access attempts from outside the premises.

Quality of Service (QoS): For networks that require specific QoS levels for different applications, the survey helps configure access points to prioritize certain types of traffic over others.

Physical Obstacles and Structural Challenges: The survey takes into account physical obstacles like walls, floors, and reflective surfaces that can affect signal propagation. This information guides the placement of access points to work around these challenges.

Future-Proofing: By anticipating future network expansion and technology upgrades, a well-conducted site survey helps ensure that the network remains adaptable to changes and advancements.

Overall, a wireless site survey is a proactive approach to designing and optimizing a wireless network that meets the specific needs of the environment, minimizes issues and provides a seamless and reliable user experience. If your organization or campus relies on a strong consistent signal, a survey can help ensure your network is optimally set up. 


Companies that benefit from wireless site surveys

Wireless site surveys offer significant benefits to a wide range of organizations and businesses that rely on wireless networks for their operations. From multi-floor buildings to large campuses, down to small office spaces, organizations that rely on strong networks could benefit from a survey.  
As a cabling company, we have helped a number of businesses in various industries with their LAN network needs. Below are some examples of groups that can benefit from conducting wireless site surveys.

  • Enterprises and Corporations
  • Schools, colleges, and universities 
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Retail Stores and Mixed-Use Retail Spaces
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Manufacturing and Warehousing
  • Public Venues and Events
  • Transportation Hubs
  • Residential Complexes
  • Outdoor Environments
  • Temporary Setups

Any organization or location that relies on wireless connectivity to support its operations, provide services, or enhance user experiences can benefit from a wireless site survey. The survey ensures that the wireless network is well-designed, optimized, and capable of meeting the demands of the environment and its users.


Should Organizations Perform Internal or Professional Wireless Site Survey 

Can a site survey be performed internally or is a professional wireless site survey company needed? Site surveys can be performed internally but this is a service that is commonly hired out. 

In order to perform such a survey, the right expertise and tools are required. For those organizations that have a qualified IT department that can perform the tasks and is willing to invest in the tools and technology to do so, they also need to consider the time investment their team would need to make. So while it is possible for some companies to handle the process internally most outsource this job to a professional. 

A qualified wireless site survey provider has the skills and technology to easily handle the job. They will be able to assess your specific needs and recommend the appropriate survey type and scope for your company.

other blog posts: