How to Upgrade Your Warehouse Wireless Network the Right Way

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 7:43:09 PM


Did you know that most wireless networks are obsolete in as little as 18 months? Ensure you follow these best practices as you choose or upgrade your wireless network.

Choose the right provider

There are many options when deciding how to choose the right provider, but your focus should be on their experience, skill and customer service. Make sure that the provider is certified to install the product proposed - preferably an expert-level of certification.

When establishing a wireless network, you will want to in the least have a certified wireless technology specialist (CWTS) but strive to use a CWNA, a certified wireless network administrator. Ask if and what type of Wi-Fi analyzer the provider uses to measure signal coverage. If a provider cannot provide this, you may want to choose another provider. You should also ask if the provider offers ongoing analysis to assess proper function, address issues and deploy updates. 

Design your network

Once you have the best wireless service provider in place, you can design your wireless network. Depending on your requirements, this may include establishing a predictive RF design planning, conducting a wireless survey, prioritize wireless security, WLAN engineering, completing performance testing and managing the system.

Radio Frequency (RF) Design Planning

Ensuring good wireless coverage is not as simple as having a strong signal. In a large environment, you will have many devices, users and a variety of areas to adequately cover. Coverage is key to ensuring that your users have continuous signals throughout the location. You will also want to confirm that your equipment and setup has the capacity to handle the devices connected to the network. Some areas like conference rooms and classrooms will have instances of a high number of users. If you fail to plan properly, a high-density user area, it can cause major problems. The final consideration for the RF planning stage is performance. Avoid legacy options and focus on implementing high-speed WiFi instead.

Know your devices

Review the connections to your network to better understand the types of devices that will run on your wireless network. You can do so by running a report from your current system. These may include mobile terminals, smartphones, tablets and laptops, but also VoIP phones and RFID readers. You may also have future devices to consider as you plan. Once you have an understanding of the number of devices and applications and the priority of those devices on the network, you can effectively design the wireless system.

Conduct a site survey

A site survey reviews wireless coverage throughout and outside of your facility. Start with a predictive site survey to decide where access points should be located and plan linkages across distances. Follow the predictive survey by a physical one. A physical survey measures coverage by walking the area while running software to analyze and measure RF signals at your location. While both surveys are important, a physical survey is best way to understand your wireless coverage in your environment.

Secure your network

Historically, wired security was ideal, but times have changed. Most new wireless systems include wireless security that allows administrators to restrict access down to the level of the end user. When considering wireless security you should consider intrusion prevention and detection, establishing roles, setting policies, integration with your directory services, RBAC (role-based access control) and wireless firewalls. This process allows you to identify the user, validate their device, classify traffic, control access and follow the user. 

WLAN Infrastructure

To establish the best wireless experience, you need to have the right network infrastructure. A proper infrastructure includes switching, DHCP and DNS with a dynamic IP network, and the use of PoE (power over ethernet) for a clean setup. 

Manage your system

One of the greatest challenges of implementing a wireless network, is management of the users and devices after the system is deployed. Dynamic user patterns can impact your plan, and if setup improperly, result in greater costs and lower user satisfaction. Your goal should always be to build the system infrastructure once, and to adjust as you go and grow. As you determine your system management, consider management of users and devices, managing adaptive RF coverage, change management, help desk access, and reporting and compliance for monitoring. 

Is it scalable?

As you implement your WLAN, you want to ensure that you choose a solution that can grow with you and your company. Any time a wireless system is implemented, the expectation is full coverage throughout the location. It is vital that you plan to gain coverage throughout your facility, rather than limiting your deployment to one location.

Real-time Location Services (RTLS)

RTLS are location-based services that can physically locate any user or device connected to a wireless network - comparable to GPS, but inside a building. Choose a system that has the capacity to handle the load of traffic from WiFi-enabled RFID readers. RFID tags can help you to track and collect data to streamline processes throughout your company. Advanced Mobile Group has industry-certified RFID engineers. You will also need to determine how accurate you want the system to be (e.g. within X number of feet). 

A redundant and reliable system

Your users are reliant upon a dependable wireless network, and that’s why you need to have High Availability as you build a redundant network and means of reliability for the wireless network. For large environments, downtime can be a critical issue. Consider the cost of downtime as you plan and design your system, but work with your provider to focus on having as much as High Availability as possible. 

Is there a warranty?

A wireless network is comprised of many different devices and parts, and some of them are very costly. It is important to understand what kind of warranty coverage your network has if there is an equipment failure or damage to a part. For all equipment in your wireless network plan, find out how long the warranty lasts, how soon parts are replaced, who is responsible for installation, how the system addresses the failure of a component, and what a replacement will require.

Customer service

When a crisis happens, the last call you want to make is to an automated system. Ideal support includes quick access to an experienced Advanced Mobile Group engineer who can help you to assess and resolve issues as quickly as possible. You need to have the best level of support and excellent customer service

Ongoing support and maintenance

Your wireless network requires updates at least four times per year to maintain its security and quality. Plan to have access to an Advanced Mobile Group engineer to get the maintenance your network needs on time.

Advanced Mobile Group Can Help

As you plan to implement a large-scale wireless network, it is vital that you consult with an expert to ensure that your deployment is successful. Advanced Mobile Group is committed to service, accessibility and provide hands-on support to our customers.

Our mobile community services and solutions provide a comprehensive process to address your wireless networking needs. Our expert team will guide you through your implementation plan, installation and provide ongoing support. We offer a client-centered methodology to analyze, design, implement and support. 

Business Analysis of Your Wireless Network

We will perform a comprehensive assessment of your existing network and present the best recommendation for your company’s situation. Our analysis will determine your network’s configuration, your wireless network needs and any wireless security challenges you may face.

Design of Your System

Using our analysis, we will design a custom plan that integrates hardware and software solutions ideal for your company’s environment. Some leading edge solutions that we support include barcode, RFID and voice recognition. We assist our clients with system design services including network design, determining hardware and software specifications and selection, finding secure network solutions, conducting wireless site surveys, and providing training and support system design.

Implementing Your Wireless Network

Once you are ready to implement and install your wireless network, we are right by your side to help you from the very beginning of the project to ongoing support. Our system implementation services include project management, customized staging and kitting services, configuration, wireless activation, installation and testing at your location, and training for all teams, from end user to system administrator. 

Ongoing Support

Advanced Mobile Group provides repair, managed services support and maintenance, both on-site and remotely. We offer ongoing support agreements and services for emergent situations. Our experienced and certified team of technicians can provide same day and next day service, tools and resources, training, automated dispatch, and help desk support. And we will work with your existing help desk to provide seamless support. We also support life-cycle management to ensure devices that are transferred to outside entities are clean of your data, or properly disposed of.

Advanced Mobile Group is here to help you to address your challenges, plan and implement your system to provide you with ongoing support so that you can achieve your goals.

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Topics: Wireless, Wireless Infrastructure

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