How to Optimize Your Wireless Network Design for Mobile Devices

Written by Michael McNamee Michael McNamee | October 21, 2016 | Read Time: 3 mins

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The goalof optimizing your wirelessnetwork design for mobile (wireless)devicesis that they perform as required so your end-users can be productive.

It’s asimple statement but in today's WLAN environments it's not only true but alsomission-critical for everyone's success.

The amount of mobile devices has continued to increase exponentially across every industry. From Healthcare and Higher Education to K-12, Retail and even Hospitality and Warehousing/Manufacturing.

Whether it's throughBYOD, corporate owned programs, 1:1 initiatives in K-12, or theIoT,your wireless network has to be designedto properly support the quantities and varietiesof connected devices accessing your network.

Withthe right wireless network designoptimized for mobile devices you can make sure you'redelivering a robust, reliable and safe user experience that can scale from today's needs to tomorrow's demands.

Here's an overview of what you'll need, the benefits you can expect, as well as some of the challenges you'll face along the way.

From a Technical Perspective

There is a lot from the technical perspective that needs to be addressed in order to optimize your RF design for mobile devices,including:

  • Designs have to be done for 5GHz(2.4GHz is only a legacy relic)
  • Adjust so 5GHz is 6dB higher than 2.4GHz signal
  • Design for the device and its capability (1ss or 2ss) (high power or low power)
  • Design for the application (business apps vs voice/video vs web/email)
  • Target an RSSI signal level at –67dBfor all mobile devices
  • EliminateCCC (co-channel contention)& ACC (adjacent channel contention)
  • Design RF cell overlap to facilitate optimal roaming

From a Business Perspective

The technical aspects of your design are obviously critical, however, the real takeaway is that you need to properly plan for the use of mobiledevices on yournetwork before you purchase them or allow them on your network. This requires two mainthings:

  • Understanding the Wi-Fi engineering process,starting with completinga predictive RF design
  • Working with an experienced team (wireless service provider)when it comes to properly executing a predictive wireless site survey

Supporting mobile andother connected devices has become the rule not the exception,and it starts with having the right WLAN design.

What are the Benefits?

There are many benefits ofhaving aWi-Finetwork that's optimized for mobile, starting with the fact that it supports a productive and enjoyable experience for your end users.

Again, from the technical side of things (specifically the requirements listed above) there are many benefits:

  • Use of 5GHz improves performance due to cleaner, less contentious spectrum.
  • Setting 5GHz higher than 2.4GHs helps mobile devices pick 5GHz over 2.4GHz.
  • Designing for the device and its capability ensures proper capacity for the WLAN.
  • Understanding the applications to be used and designing for them ensures proper performance of the WLAN.
  • Targeting –67dB is essential to providing an optimal connected experience for the mobile wireless client.
  • Eliminating CCC& ACCis just another component in making sure the air is optimized to facilitate a good connected experience for the wireless client.
  • Cell optimization just means that there is minimal overlap of cells created by the APs so that roaming across APs as wireless clients, who are mobile in the space, are able to move from AP to AP.

What are the Main Challenges?

Like a lot of things in WLAN design there are some obstacles you need to avoid along the way if you want to be successful.

Here's a list of the fourmain challenges when optimizing your network for mobile:

  • Addressing the needs and behaviors of a plethora of devices that all are very different.Each device has a behavior profile that impacts the wireless network.
  • In some environments where multiple networks exist, it is challenging to eliminate CCC & ACCand get the networks to play well together.
  • Transitioning from legacyWLAN deploymentswhere APs were installed in hallways to in room deployments as required now.
  • Getting the design right from the start so we can implement some of the automated RF functions to make the small, dynamic adjustments to keep the WLAN optimal.

Getting Started

The first step to creating the right environment for reliable and robust mobiledevice use is understanding and following the Wi-Fi engineering process.

From here it’s important that you engage with a professional and verify their industry and vendor certifications. WLAN design, installation and support is a skilledendeavorand requires training and experience to be done properly.

At SecurEdge, we deliver affordable, robust, and secure wireless platforms – it’s all we do. If you have any questions about wireless network designor would like to discuss an upcoming project, please contact us here.

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