With the sheer amount of users that choose Wi-Fi as their preferred connection protocol in public spaces, a company needs to be able to implement a Wi-Fi deployment that offers a superior user experience. To ensure our customer manages to get the best possible experience, however, we need to explore how we can create a higher quality of user experience for our users. According to Cisco, in 2015 there were as much as 64.2 million public Wi-Fi spots, expected to burgeon to 423.5 million by 2020. Users have become used to an average Wi-Fi experience, but we intend to go beyond the mundane and offer something far better to them. The problem is, how exactly do we go about doing that?
The Idea of Wi-Fi Planning
For us to control the quality of our Wi-Fi service, we must set about planning that service so that we can adapt on the fly to our users’ needs. Providing quality Wi-Fi service is what our aim is. We don’t want any of our potential users falling asleep while waiting for their e-mail to load, after all. For us to offer more, we need to look into planning, and breaking down our offering into a few major headings such as:
1. Coverage and Balancing
Access points distributed geographically to cover the largest possible area is one way to look at this. However, we must also take into account the maximum distance we want to cover and strategically place our access points so that they efficiently and effectively cover our target. Having overlapping areas is especially useful when it comes to load balancing. In this case, we want to ensure that we don’t strain a single access point with an overload of connections, but instead distribute them among the access points that overlap one another. This will be especially useful for those accessing the internet on a mobile device to buy something from Tradition Company. This practice can be done automatically through the included APIs in the system’s architecture.
2. Access Point Placement with regards to Roaming
We have already mentioned the usefulness of having access point overlaps, but we must also look at the location of access points in order to get the best spread over our target area. A professional AP placement specialist can help to determine the most efficient location for our access points by looking at the objects that are most likely to get in the way of our clients’ signals and cause them to drop off the network if they move into dead zones. The reasoning for this is simply because the users we are going to be dealing with are most likely going to be on mobile devices. Around the world, based on statistics from Statista, the amount of mobile phone users number over four and a half billion. It’s users that are on the go that we need to focus on, since our coverage will need to address their mobility in our design.
3. Capacity and Switching
What’s the largest number of users your network can hold? What’s the largest number of users it SHOULD hold? The difference between these numbers can cause a lot of trouble for a Wi-Fi provider, since it can impact the network based on the amount of users wanting to use the infrastructure and the amount of users who are already on it. Building a Wi-Fi network requires building for capacity in order to handle as many devices as possible. This ensures that no significant slowdowns on SSD drives are going to occur because of the amount of devices present on the network at any given time. Part of this consideration is our wired switching. Most modern designed switches are built to optimize user experience by preventing bottlenecks.
4. Security and Safety
Publicly available networks walk a very fine line between completely locking their users out of their networks and allowing in unsecured users that could potentially create a backdoor into that network. Depending on the needs of a particular organization, the network security will need to change to meet those needs. Juggling a secure network with one that offers ease of accessibility is a gargantuan task. Symantec noted that, based on a survey done in May 2017, a consumer’s dependency on publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots consistently put those users’ data at risk.
Putting our Best Foot Forward
Building a secure, accessible, and high-quality Wi-Fi network should be what we’re aiming for. By seeking to provide the highest quality of service possible through our network we must first take into account what our network requires to bring this level of service to the table. Taking into account these factors gives us a starting point in the planning and layout of the network, both geographically and in the realm of hardware and software required. This starting point is just the first step, since implementation and testing would allow us to fine-tune our system to best suit our needs and the needs of our clients moving forward.