Wireless site surveys are essential to avoid signal coverage issues, maintain the network and ensure excellent network performance from day one. The wireless site survey is something that conducts tests for Radio Frequency interference and identifies installation locations for access points, which will meet the needs and requirements of the building’s occupants. It helps to avoid interference due to existing radio sources and interferences caused by physical structures such as columns, beams, walls, and metal objects. With wireless site surveys, you will evaluate new spaces, set up sites, and operate the network to provide the same level of service.
A Wireless Site Survey is recommended to conduct when implementing a larger wireless network or a smaller wireless network. As compared to smaller ones, a site survey is a must-have for larger wireless network deployments. And at the case of smaller wireless deployments, a site survey is good to have but it may cost you more.
There are varied types of site surveys, but there are 3 types of surveys considered as important ones and the goal of conducting wireless site surveys is to gather relevant and accurate data to help design a wireless network that meets the needs of the users. So, now let us look into 3 types of wireless site surveys with Smart 4G Tester, 4G LTE Tester, 4G Network Tester and VOLTE Testing tools & Equipment and Technically Best wireless site survey software, site survey tools for wireless networks & Wifi site survey software app.
Passive wireless site survey:
- Passive wireless site surveys are the fastest and easiest to conduct physically while walking around the area – these kinds of surveys are generally conducted both interior and exterior purposes as well as the data collection of the radio frequency readings at the access points. A passive site survey will provide some very important information such as RF signal data ensuring that all physical factors that could impact network performance. Further, such surveys can be implemented to generate coverage heatmaps for the desired area and they provide report information on APs and their characteristics, signal strength, signal-to-noise ratios, and interference and reveal marginal performance changes before users notice.
- Gives very accurate results based on engineers’ skill sets and equipment used for the survey.
- Allows measuring interference of neighbouring wireless networks and non-Wi-Fi interfering sources.
- Also, it allows for capturing of information regarding installation, be it for cabling, or data closet layout, and mounting methods.
Active wireless site survey:
An active site survey is conducted to determine the proper locations to install wireless access points either the already installed WiFi network or the temporary WiFi network and sometimes it also does like speed testing and application testing. This survey consists of using an access point and is performed to capture the RF characteristics of that access point location – allows for the generation of network traffic; measures the network performance, packet loss, and the data upload and download speeds. This site survey is crucial for retail locations and other businesses because they have extensive security requirements.
- Coverage and performance can be measured for installed networks with clear accuracy.
- Results can be considered based on any neighbour or interfering wireless sources.
- Network optimization can be done by an onsite engineer who can tweak configuration settings and remeasure as needed.
Predictive wireless site survey:
Predictive site surveys are inexpensive ways to get an idea of how many access points will be needed and where to place them and are performed without any type of field measurements or physical visits. Predictive wireless site surveys are computer-based design processes using RF planning software tools that can predict wireless coverage of the Aps and collect accurate data to design a wireless network that meets the needs of users by fulfilling the required coverage and performance.
To perform this site survey, a floorplan drawing (AutoCAD, JPEG, PDF), wall material, and other information (which impact wireless signals and generate signal propagation results/coverage heatmaps) are mandated to be considered. Predictive site surveys are used when the building is not yet built to simulate not just the construction of the building but also floor plans, offices, conference rooms, cubicles, walls, windows and even filing cabinets and other large objects.
- Provides quick results without visiting the site.
- This survey can be performed prior to the construction of the building and for new construction.
- It is easier to conduct/design a predictive site survey as it uses software tools.
Each type of wireless site survey (active, passive, and predictive) has its own benefits so you can choose the one as per your requirement, your building type, and business operations, s, which can best address your network needs. The wireless site surveys are conducted to provide detailed information that addresses the site’s radio frequency coverage and to ease this survey, several software have been introduced and RantCell is one among them. With RantCell, you will be able to design, implement, and optimize your wireless network. RantCell is a mobile-based app that will help perform wireless site surveys quickly, easily, and efficiently.
Need to have a wireless network survey at your site? Choose RantCell and keep your wireless network optimized and make you happy.