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What is Wireless Site Survey and why is it important?

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TitleWhat is Wireless Site Survey and why is it important?
Question
What is Wireless Site Survey and why is it important?
Environment
  • Wireless
Answer
A wireless site survey, sometimes called an RF site survey or wireless survey, is the process of planning and designing a wireless network, to provide a wireless solution that will deliver the required wireless coverage, data rates, network capacity, roaming capability and Quality of Service (QoS). The survey usually involves a site visit to test for RF interference, and to identify optimum installation locations for access points. This requires analysis of building floor plans, inspection of the facility, and use of site survey tools. Interviews with IT management and the end users of the wireless network are also important to determine the design parameters for the wireless network.

As part of the wireless site survey, the effective range boundary is set, which defines the area over which signal levels needed support the intended application. This involves determining the minimum signal to noise ratio (SNR) needed to support performance requirements.

Wireless site survey can also mean the walk-testing, auditing, analysis or diagnosis of an existing wireless network, particularly one which is not providing the level of service required.

Wireless site survey is an important part of planning and installation for any enterprise grade wireless network. It is almost impossible to create smooth radio environment without proper planning and performing of pre-installation and post-installation site surveys. Site survey is also very useful for any wireless troubleshooting and it can be very hard to detect specific issues without site survey.
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