Predictive WiFi Surveys Vs. Onsite Surveys: What Do I Need?

Written by Philip Wegner Philip Wegner | January 28, 2011 | Read Time: 1 min

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How do you know if you need a predictive site survey or physical site survey?

A predictive wireless site survey is just what it sounds like -- predictive. It can take into account a lot of factors: building materials, square footage, number of wireless users, types of applications, antenna models and other variables. It can provide basics for the access point layout and expected speeds and today’s site survey software is pretty darn accurate from our experience. The huge advantage of a predictive survey is that it’s much quicker than onsite designs and of course it costs much less.

Predictive Site Surveys

Predictive site surveys are great for customers with simple wireless connectivity needs.

Perhaps you want to provide guest access in your conference rooms or in a handful of areas around campus. No challenge for predictive site surveys. Many schools can benefit from predictive site surveys as long as they have an experienced wireless deployment partner.

There are challenges with high density areas and students streaming YouTube type applications, but a good wireless consultant can figure that into a predictive plan.

Onsite Wireless Site Surveys

Onsite wireless site surveys are recommended for anyone doing complex wireless functions.

Complex wireless functions are applications that roam from access point to access point and/or are latency sensitive.

For Example:

  • Wireless VoIP
  • MultiMedia over Wireless
  • Wireless Video Surveillance
  • IPTV over Wireless
  • Real Time Location Services (RTLS)
  • Advanced Data Applications

During an onsite site survey, an engineer takes the predictive site survey results and tests the wireless design to prove the design in a real world environment. The wireless engineer should be looking for interference (noise), which can only be measured onsite of course. Our wireless engineers also have software to simulate things like wireless VoIP and streaming media to make sure they will work seamlessly in your environment.

If you have additional questions about what is best for your organization, we can help. You can use our WiFi Services quoting tool to find out how much it will cost. 

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