We have a building that is built like a concrete fortress and the wireless coverage internally doesn't work well. This is basically a 5 floor apartment building and we can only have AP's in the hallways. I surveyed with 1142 access points and directly outside the hallway with 50mW radio power, I get -72dBm signal strength. If I move the AP 20ft. down the hallway the signal is gone in the room. This means that we basically need one access point per room.
I'm looking at possibly using outdoor, maybe 1300 series, access points with sector antennas. I would mount them on the light poles outside and up-tilt them slightly. I'm still trying to find out if cabling/power is possible on the poles. On the outside of the building there appears to be a window for every room.
Has anyone attemped a solution like this?
BelAir networks touts this as their solution of choice for all buildings. I will tell you it is NOT a good solution and there are a couple of reasons why. First, multipath and other signal distortions in normal use. If the client was going to set up the client device in the window, you would be fine, but theyre not. The signal only has a small path into the apartment and then only at a certain width. This causes major multipath. The other big problem is the number of clients per AP directly affects the usable aggregate throughput of the AP. Too many clients associated will cause major issues with client satisfaction. If you choose this option I would deploy it in 5ghz only and then add client CPE devices to repeat the signal from a window sill to the rest of the apartment. 5ghz give you the nonoverlapping channels that you need to do this with multiple APs on the outside of the building and smaller client loads per AP. If you are in the US make sure that you follow all CALEA guidelines for ISPs. Yes, you are an ISP if you provide coverage and internet access to your tenants.