Wi-Fi is far from simple. On the contrary, LEVER's Wi-Fi Network Professional (WNP) training programme spans 20 unique days of training.
Few organisations have staff that are professionally trained in Wi-Fi technologies, and yet many are still hoping to exploit:
Wi-Fi Hotspots for guest access to the Internet
Ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage, supporting hot desking for staff
Voice over Wi-Fi (VoFi) - for flexible working and cost reduction
RFID and Real-Time Location Systems
Mesh Wi-Fi networks.
The Wi-Fi Skills Shortage
The majority of people - IT professionals and users alike - completely under-estimate the complexities of Wi-Fi networking.
As independent consultants, we can see that today's network engineers lack the essential skills needed to Plan, Design, Survey, Implement, Secure
and Support enterprise-grade Wi-Fi networks.
Many wireless network installation companies are lacking in the vital Wi-Fi network Planning, Design and Survey skills too.
The consequences - which we see every week - are that many Wi-Fi networks being installed today are poorly designed and engineered.
Many are simply unfit for purpose.
Problems with Wireless Site Surveys and Installations
During LEVER's more than six years experience in the wireless network industry, we have been contracted by companies of all kinds, including end-user companies operating in most market sectors. However many of LEVER's customers - more than forty - are actually Resellers and Wireless Networks Suppliers operating within the IT industry.
Some of our customers include the biggest names in the industry, including Telindus, Redstone, Psion-Teklogix, Bluesocket and many more.
We have seen countless examples of poor practice in terms of wireless network planning, design, survey, installation, configuration, support and troubleshooting.
It is unfortunately our firm opinion that the vast majority of companies that conduct wireless network site surveys and install wireless networks have totally inadequate knowledge, skills, tools and experience to perform these tasks competently.
Just some of the most common and most notable mistakes that we have encountered are listed below. We hope that this will help anyone who is contemplating sourcing a wireless network - to help select the appropriate supplier for their needs.
Not understanding the customer's requirements properly, or at all.
Not defining the customer's requirements.
Not stating the design parameters for a customer's wireless network.
Not designing the wireless network to meet any stated or relevant design parameters.
Not designing the wireless network to deliver RF coverage to the areas required.
Employing the wrong antenna types in a wireless network .
Not understanding the RF radiation patterns of common Wi-Fi antennas, including Omnidirectional antennas.
Stating that the WLAN antennas should have a gain of "at least 2.2dBi", in an environment and where greater gain would degrade the network through mutual interference, and where the EIRP levels would be illegal.
Trying to employ Omnidirectional antennas as Yagi antennas.
Having too many wireless access points located in close proximity.
Not appreciating the adverse effects of mutual interference between wireless access points and wireless client devices.
Assigning overlapping RF channel numbers to wireless access points that are in proximity to each other.
Installing wireless antennas in poor locations.
Installing wireless antennas in close proximity to RF barriers and reflecting surfaces.
Giving the impression in a site survey report that heatmaps were generated after detailed on-site survey, when in truth they were generated by:
Software simulation, and even
Graphical drawing tools
Presenting heat maps with no scale of units, and even with no stated scale at all (e.g signal strength, associated data rate, SNR, etc).
Surveying a wireless network using completely inappropriate tools, such as the Cisco Site Survey Utility.
Placing access points in the wrong orientation, including orienting them vertically when they should be oriented horizontally.
Not assigning fixed RF channels to APs, but instead using a "Least Congested Frequency" setting.
Setting RF power levels too high: from a mutual interference perspective
Setting RF power levels too high, from a UK / EU legislative perspective: the wireless network was operating illegally.
Setting 5GHz RF channels manually (disabling DFS): the wireless network was operating illegally.
Disabling Transmit Power Control (TPC): the wireless network was operating illegally.
Expecting a Wireless LAN Controller's "AutoRF"-type RF power and channel management to deliver a satisfactory wireless network configuration.
Supplying and installing inappropriate wireless network hardware.
Misleading the customer to believe that problems experienced with their wireless network were due to external interference, when in fact the cause was poor RF network design.
Claiming that a wireless LAN Controller was required, to resolve network problems.
Claiming that a wireless LAN Control Software was required, to resolve network problems.
Claiming (counter to their own design documents) that antenna spacing was the problematic cause.
Stating that DECT phones and other devices interfere with Wi-Fi network operations, when they do not.
Claiming that spectrum analysis had been performed when it had not. There was no data presented and nothing to substantiate the claim that external interference was the cause of the customer's problems.
Claiming that their consultant was independent: the consultant in fact worked for the company that had installed the non-functional network.
Some of the gravest errors have been made by some of the very biggest names in the Wi-Fi industry.
How can you prevent this happening within your organisation?
Just £895 Could save you Tens of Thousands ...
... from as little as £895, your staff can be trained in professional Wi-Fi network planning and design.
A more comprehensive Wi-Fi Network Professional training programme will enable your organisation to:
Ensure that your Wi-Fi network requirements are properly understood and defined.
Plan and Design your Wi-Fi network deployments professionally.
Evaluate the Wi-Fi products that they are offering.
Evaluate potential suppliers rigorously.
Evaluate and critique Wi-Fi network proposals from potential suppliers.
Significantly reduce the cost of your Wi-Fi network deployments.
Move forward confidently with your corporate Wi-Fi strategy.
Contact LEVER now and learn more
about the unique benefits of Wi-Fi training with LEVER.
Call free on 0800 138 3030 (UK) or +44 113 398 3300 (International), or e-mail