The importance of AP placement for wireless phone roaming.
Todays businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on reliable voice over WiFi services. Correct AP placement and RF design are of utmost importance.
When sensitive devices like WiFi phones don’t roam properly and you get drop outs, you tend to know about it pretty quickly – staff are irritated by the unreliable service and complain.
Phone drop outs are also one of the more complex aspects in a WLAN to fault find and correct. While there’s many issues that can cause drop outs, one of the easier ones to identify is with poor AP placement.
If you are able to replicate a problem in a certain area of a facility, there’s two main reasons – not enough coverage, or incorrect placement.
In regards to incorrect placement, you’ve got to take into account the building fabric when placing the APs. A couple of classic examples are where there’s lifts / emergency stairwells and increasingly common is speedpanel in the walls of comms rooms (it’s a thick metal panel, which is pretty much a complete attenuator).
If you place the APs correctly around these obstacles, the phone will see the next AP in time to make a roaming decision and no drops occur. Incorrect placement and you’ll get some consistent 1 – 5 second dropouts as the phone sees a sudden RF drop from the attenuator, prior to roaming to the next AP. So, if you’re getting some consistent drop outs in an area, take a look at your AP placement, as it just might be the cause.