How much does a Wireless survey cost from an independant company ? Ball park figures that all.
Millgate (23rd May 2013)
Thanks guys as I imagined. Our LA are looking at total wifi coverage as the Welsh Government has given them lots of money to do this. Our LA want to charge between £1500 + £3000 per school per survey!!
One reason to have a wireless survey chargeable is when you are getting Company A to generate a report that you will be using in a specification for a tender involving Companies B C and D.
In which case £3K is probably the upper limit - other professionals in their industry are going to review the report so the time and effort to produce it doubles. A decent survey will take at least a day, and often two on site for a Secondary, follow that up with writing a proper report (including building conditions, hazards, etc).
Another is if the LA has already contracted them for installation at all their sites, there are probably penalty clauses if there are any problems, so this fee is how the company ensures it a) has done due dillegence and b) generates some cash to pay for the occasional mistake without harming the core profit margin.
We partner with a certain vendor who do the surveys free of charge. We get a details report back and then use that to go and get quotes from whichever vendor you want to use
How much is what I thought!
Bear in mind they are surveying 50+ primaries. I think its a bit excessive!!
Find out what kind of survey they are going to do. A full survey with professional surveying tools, i.e. Airmagnet/Ekahau alongside spectrum analysis could well take 1-2 days per primary school plus report writing. That's the sort of survey worth paying for as it will pretty much guarantee how your final wireless deployment will look RF wise. You can also use the data in future to run "what if" scenarios of planned AP location/power/channel changes.
If it's just somebody walking around taking power readings on a laptop, you'll get that for free.
Any company wanting the the business should do it fee. When we looked at doing it, each company did one then provided a quote.
That however is for one college not 50+ then not getting the business and been weeks of man hours down
Last edited by RichB; 24th May 2013 at 11:01 AM.
I'm sure if in went to a company and said I had 50 sites to survey they could do it for a lot less than £100k ?
We sometimes charge for surveys depending on the location of the school. I.e if we have to send an engineer from our Leeds offices to Swansea (and this does happen) then effectively its an engineer away for the day + travel costs + writing up the report too. If it's within a couple of hours or we have an engineer going nearby then we'll do it for free.
There are also other tools that give a good indication of what coverage you can expect. We use the free Fortiplanner software from Fortinet (as we sell their kit). This is quite good and gives you a pretty good indication of coverage so long as you know how thick your walls are and what they are made of. The best thing is that this can be done by us remotely. It still takes a while to do but gives a good indication.
Nothing surprises me with LAs any more. I know people within school management who would rather spend £5000 on an energy survey than energy-saving measures, and then have no budget left for energy-saving measures. You know one amazing thing we were told? "You can put up a wind turbine." Yeah, I know we could. We honestly didn't need to spend £5000 to figure that one out.
If the LA "take control", if you can call it that, just don't get too stressed about it. You never know, you might end up with a decent wifi system.
Odd, we just had this done, our LA (Powys) did was use the digital blueprints of the school and use the cisco software to place points based on how thick the walls are (they did it without leaving their office). It was then up to use to say, yes or no to where they'd plopped a point on the map.
It seems to work out pretty well, our current wifi system uses 20 points, their system would use 21 points. We did tell them to put external points on the table for our school. £20k to spend on infrastructure to meet the digital wales grant is nothing.
Also bare in mind, the 20K that needs to cover, the hardware, licenses, structured cable installation, and POE switches. There is also a clause in the documentation for all pcs connected via a network cable for the network down the cable to be gigabit, so new switches are also needed.
Powys' offering included dual band (n & b/g) points (our current are single b/g/n points) so we went for that instead of a 10gbps backbone.
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