Download PDF Version: Onsite vs. Predictive

The end goal of a site survey is to determine the amount of and locations of access points necessary to meet facility design goals like coverage, performance and user capacity. Many businesses are pushing forward with only utilizing a digital predictive design survey of your facility and cutting out the traditional onsite surveys. At first glance this can look like a time efficient and cost reducing option, since most softwares used to develop a predictive site surveys can account for your facility materials, the square footage, the amount of users, area utilization, antennas and many other aspects that are valuable for providing a reliable predictive wireless plan.

A component of your site surveys should consider the signal strength for both 2.4 and 5GHz frequency bands and determine if, how and where a 2.4Hz network could be used in the facility. Typically when 3 or more 2.4 GHz access points are needed there are only 3 channels that can be utilized so it’s best to limit the number of devices that use 2.4Hz or place them out of the way of channels to prevent downtime and the best results from the design.

Overall a predictive design is best suited for smaller scale projects or if your facility has not been built utilizing the predictive model will help when budgeting for the project. As advanced as predictive design software is today, it is still only as accurate as the data entered and the connectivity data that it accesses so when it comes to large scale projects or for a facility that reliable wifi is critical to the workplace both an onsite and predictive design survey should be done.

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