Are you overloading your network, flooding your sites? Not only does this slow connectivity, it may be damaging your budget…Steve Buet, education specialist at Probrand, shares his insight and offers some practical advice
Over recent years there’s been a massive increase in demand on wireless networks, with an expansion of the number of devices per client, BYOD and guest provisioning.
A common challenge for organisations is not having enough wireless access points to give the coverage and support required, causing several issues including erratic connections and dead spots. However, increasingly we’re coming across the opposite; we’re finding that many wireless providers are ‘flooding’ sites, over-deploying wireless access points in the mistaken belief that this is the safe option, and will offer the widest coverage and quality of connection.
What these organisations quickly find is that an excessive number of access points brings as many problems as having too few, with devices fighting to connect amid highly congested and conflicting air space. For users, their connectivity and download speeds are impaired, because of high signal interference, and will frequently be disconnected as they move around the site. This makes for a poor user experience, which is obviously bad for technology learning.
Steve Buet, education specialist at Probrand clarifies: “Organisations are being hoodwinked into believing that more access points equal better coverage.
“Often this isn’t the case, as access point coverage overlaps and saturates the airspace. This means user devices struggle to identify which access point is the best to connect to, thus creating conflict that delivers poor service delivery to the end user.
“Of course, the greater the number of access points deployed, the greater the cost and incentive for the supplier.”
Furthermore, with wireless demand increasing as multiple device usage per user becomes the norm, organisations are finding connectivity suffering as their legacy networks struggle to meet the demands of modern devices and high levels of data transfer.
Steve offers some further advice, “Over deployment of access points is something we’re seeing a lot of, perhaps driven by a rapid fix approach to a growing need for secure, well managed wireless connectivity.
“It is essential that organisations consider their current and future requirements from a user based perspective and that wireless surveys are conducted in parallel with a long-term IT strategy.
“Some technologies align themselves well to future wireless expansion whereas others quite simply do not. Lots of access points do not guarantee effective delivery of wireless services.”