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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless Survey in Technical; Can someone point me to a company who can do a wireless survey? Ideally with knowledge of an Aruba wireless ...
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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Wireless Survey

    Can someone point me to a company who can do a wireless survey? Ideally with knowledge of an Aruba wireless system.

    Also any of you had one done? How much do they cost? Was it worth it?

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    I had a small one (one building) done by a comany trying to sell me a wifi solution once. Either it wasn't worth them doing it or their product was rubbish because it didn't help it work better than the one I just placed roughly where I thought it should go.

    Based on that when we went full scale me and a colleague spent about three days going over the whole school, in term time - in case having dozens of people wandering about affected anything, checking signal strength with the school's own equipment (standard phone, tablet and laptop at the time) and placing the new APs as and when we needed extra coverage.

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    Cost depends on the size of the campus and the complexity. A company will usually quote based on a set of building plans and discussions Some companies might refund the cost against an order for a new wifi system. A proper survey is done using an AP of choice with Ekahau (or similar) software installed which costs an arm and a leg hence the charge for the survey. The survey company will also typically use an RF spectrum analyser to check for interferers such as Radar, PIR detectors, etc etc.

    Hope this helps

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    Hi Mr Bios, we're a Ruckus house, but we carry out a lot of surveys, so thought the below may be of use.

    We tend to do two different types of wireless surveys, so hopefully these will help you identify the correct one you would need.

    predictive survey - Cost - Free
    The client would send us plans of their school, and we would run it through a piece of software called Tamograph. This allows us to predict the number of access points and their location, taking into account your environment, such as age of building, thickness of walls, building materials and density of devices etc and allows us to predict your signal strength, estimated throughput, signal to noise ratio etc. This is purely predictive, but produces good results, especially for smaller sites.

    Active Survey - Cost varies according to company and the customer sites - average cost from us tends to be 650 per day.
    This requires a trained wireless engineer to visit the customer site and walk around the site with an access point. Placing it in predicted locations and walking around the surrounding area to collect real-time/real-world data. This allows the engineer to accurately measure your signal strength, round-trip times, throughput rates, etc and put forward ideal location for your access points as well as a very accurate idea of the number you would require. This is ideal for larger sites.

    We always recommend the surveys to customers, it gives the client confidence in our ability, but it also allows the client to see the anticipated results. Both types of surveys produce written reports and this can also help if they need to present a case to a head teacher or governors etc.

    Hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

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    I hear these guys Convergis - http://convergis.co.uk/ - (Steve Marsh) are good.

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    We did one to try and bottom out how many more access points we might need to give site wide coverage on a Meru system with 1:1 devices in play. It was rubbish and basically said "you may need to add some access points". We pain 1800 for it, got half of that knocked off the price of kit but I'm still sore about it!

    We now do our own surveying with a WAP on a stick and an Android App to sample signal strength.

    ETA there was a wireless engineer a while back who did a good write-up on what a good wireless survey should give you. Might be worth trying to search it out.
    Last edited by pcstru; 29th May 2014 at 02:52 PM.

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    Problems with DIY solutions such as WAP on a stick and Android app is that you won't get heat maps showing any or most of the following which you would get with Ekahau or similar;

    Minimum Signal Strength
    Minimum SNR
    Minimum Data Rate
    Number of Access points 'seen'
    Max Ping round trip
    Max Packet loss

    But as always budgets dictate.

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    True although I think with a little work with kismet, we should be able to get some pretty good data. We actually did have budget, we just didn't get value for money from the company actually doing the survey.

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