From the invention of radio frequencies to the appearance of WiFi 6, within just a few years, WiFi has become essential, especially within a business environment. Companies need ever higher bandwidth and more secure connectivity than ever before to support increased mobility, intensive data usage and access to cloud-hosted applications. If you plan to make improvements, it is essential to have a good understanding of what you need from your new network and structure your WiFi project accordingly.
WiFi, the foundation of corporate digital services
The deployment of a corporate wireless network is no longer to complement a wired local area network. It has become the foundation for developing new ways of working for employees: laptop, smartphone or tablet, wireless printers, connected meeting rooms, etc. All of which contribute to mobility and productivity in companies and which require seamless connectivity.
In parallel, the race for speed is also a reality in 2020. The increase in data flow, the sharing of high-definition images and videos, but also the use of collaborative applications such as Teams or G suite require a service managed connectivity for maximum reliability.
If a reliable and fast internet connection is vital to your company, it would probably be advisable to have a subscription with an operator who can provide you with service guarantees, both for the speed of connectivity and the recovery time in the event of a technical failure.
Questions to ask for your WiFi project
Here are our tips about things to consider before embarking upon a WiFi project for your business.
1/ What will the primary use of the network be?
Will the network be used just by employees? Will there be any specific equipment to connected to the WiFi? Do you plan to open the network up to visitors (customers, suppliers, etc.)?
A good understanding of how the network needs to work for your business will provide a better overall vision of the project: the number of dedicated VLANs, authentication method(s), etc.
2/ What level of capacity should the network be able to support?
How many users are likely to connect simultaneously? Should peak usage times be considered? Will high bandwidth-consuming applications be important to users?
These elements will make it possible to scale the solution to the correct proportions, which will ensure your WiFi remains stable even under the most demanding conditions.
3/ Which areas of your building need to have wiFi coverage?
What areas need to be covered? How many people are likely to connect from the areas in question? Have you identified potential sources of radio interference?
The definition of the WiFi coverage extends beyond merely installing a Wireless Access Point (WAP). There are many other factors to consider, such as the number of WAP's needed to provide full coverage of any given area. The correct location to install them in to provide maximum coverage, the exact frequency to avoid interference and the type of WAP to best suit user and environmental needs.
4/ How critical is the infrastructure?
If your internet connection was unavailable, what impact would this have on your business? Is service interruption tolerable, and to what extent?
Understanding how critical the infrastructure is, is essential for estimating the desired service availability rate and thus choosing the desired service guarantees (SLA).
5/ Who will be responsible for the implementation?
Do you have in-house resources with the expertise and time available to install and support your WiFi project? Would you prefer to outsource the service and rely on the expertise of WiFi professionals?
Some companies prefer to keep network management in-house by relying on qualified staff.
Outsourcing "WiFi as a Service" is the ideal solution for:
Companies with little or no technical IT resources, this is the case for many SMEs and even mid-caps.
Companies looking for experts to provide them with very high levels of service, and meet specific requirements.
Companies with IT resources wishing to outsource network management to enable more time for other tasks. The scope of Information Systems Departments often being quite extensive.