1. Know your environment
Do you have a brick wall or sheetrock between you and your signal? In order to start planning for your wireless deployment start with the blueprint of your building. Whatever is between the user and the signal is going to affect the signal’s strength. So if you have concrete, chalkboards, uranium or a basket full of monkeys a good deployment will plan for penetration through these obstacles.
2. Measure your density
Their ability to receive the wireless signal is all the user really cares about! Don’t guess at your signal strength…measure it. The best heat map is one that can combine both your blueprint and a measurement of signal strength through your environment.
3. Plan for more users
While it is obvious to consider the number of possible users on the wireless it is also worth considering (or measuring) what kind of traffic those users produce. Do your users stream Pandora? Drag CAD files? Upload video? These types of streaming media create the largest bandwidth utilization. If you are a school district plan maybe plan for a middle school building. If you’re a manufacturer, plan for a warehouse expansion. As your environment grows so should your Wi-Fi architecture. By the way never plan for one device per person. Think about your own wireless needs, between your cell, laptop, pc, and Dick Tracey wrist watch that’s a several devices per person.
4. Create your criteria
Poor selection decisions can be costly! Creating a list of goals or features that are most important to you and your organization are paramount. End users are the ones that will benefit first and will complain the loudest if the Wi-Fi solution stinks, so make sure to include them in creating your selection criteria.