By Josh Gerst, Vice President, Engineering, RF Connect
Let’s see if this sounds right to you. You’ve been in your location for 10-15 years – happy anniversary! You’ve stayed up to date with your business technology and you’re leveraging the most efficient solutions. Unlike 10-15 years ago, all of your employees have smart phones and are using tablets and laptops to get their work done. The demands on your wireless system grow daily, and, by the way, you’ve noticed some dead spots and some processing lag times that seem longer than usual.
It’s time for a wireless site survey. It’s an assessment of your current system coupled with recommendations about how to upgrade and expand it to meet the needs of new frequencies, new technologies and the growing demands of more devices. Wireless site surveys are essential to maintaining a robust in-building wireless communication system.
Why conduct a site survey in your current location?
A site survey can uncover gaps in current coverage and identify how and where signal strength can be updated or expanded. A site survey can also serve as a troubleshooting tool to discover problems in capacity and performance.
Perhaps you need a site survey to create a path loss analysis. Or a tower analysis and entire network performance review. Perhaps you are conducting a risk assessment and are concerned about first responder communications in the case of an emergency.
Time to move
Here’s another scenario: You’ve been in your location for 10-15 years – happy anniversary! And your business is experiencing phenomenal growth. It’s time to make the jump and move to a larger facility to operate more efficiently and better serve your clients.
Before you make the move, a wireless site survey informs the design and planning for the entire wireless network, ensuring coverage, rates, capacity, and roaming capability, among other features, all meet your requirements and industry standards.
What’s involved in a site survey?
A site survey includes a benchmark test, which identifies:
- Designated coverage areas, which are geographical regions that will be provided communications that meet or exceed the specified performance criteria at the specified level of reliability.
- Design parameters to determine the intended coverage design levels, for example, -75 dBm received signal code power or RSCP over 95 percent of the designated coverage areas.
- Carriers, bands and technologies to be measured.
Our team collects data by designing customized walk routes, segmenting long call and short call data, and using frequency scanners to meet the needs of each individual project. We maintain logs of all of the data for later review and post processing as required.
In existing structures or venues, we measure the current signal levels so that the new design provides the most dominant signal. By plotting collected scanner data on floor plans, our engineers can design the best solution to provide a stronger signal level than any signal from the outside coming in.
In addition, we collect data around the exterior of buildings by windows, where outside signals are most likely to enter and interfere with inside signals.
Are you ready to implement a site survey to improve your in-building wireless communications?
The next steps
RF Connect can conduct a wireless communications site assessment of your current system and make recommendations about expanding and upgrading it, even if we didn’t create the initial design. Similarly, we can evaluate, design and deploy wireless communication systems for new or expanded facilities.