If you could provide some parameters including data on the Building (sq footage to be covered, # of floors), Users, (# of users, are they clustered, or evenly distributed or roaming), Goals of the client (basic IP connectivity for email?, what do they want the system to provide?, Applications, usage patterns, ), etc. it would help all of us that actively use this forum to get a better picture. Once we have a better understanding we can potentially provide a proposed solution. There may or may not be a practical solution based on the information you can provide.
[I'm making the assumption that the area to be covered or bandwidth requirements are such that a single AP connected to the switch/router would not provide the desired coverage or thru put.]
You could configure the APs in user areas as repeaters, but there are challenges in that:
- You would be creating very large cells with, say one 'real AP' where you can get wire and three or four 'repeater APs' extending its range.
- Antenna selection and placement would be tricky becuase you would have to hit users AND the real AP from each repeater.
Of course , you still have to have power for each AP, so running CAT5 (which will give you power over Ethernet on a 350AP) might be easier than running new power. Or, we could get creative with Power over Ethernet.
Let us know if you need to get some on-site help.
Matthew (and Dennis), many thanks for your help.
I considered the use of the AP as repeater, to avoid cabling an Ethernet Lan across the building. The powering of each AP is not a problem.
But, we must to deploy a Lan in many buildings across the country. Buildings that are not wired, and have different sizes and forms.
The bandwith requirement is not a key, but the TCO (hardware, end-user devices, cabling, handwork, management,...)
One question: using the APs as repeaters, can I chain one to each other to cover all the cells? One of them will be connected to the WAN.
Is this an "aberrantion"?
The first repeater will cut your throughput in half (it is by nature a half duplex device and therefor must stop talking to listen). Subsequent repeaters would compound the problem.
I know a company that will do CAT5 drops for a fixed price anywhere in the country - that price would be high for 500 drops at one location, but very good for a few drops each at many locations.
That would resolve the predictable pricing issue, however their subcontractors (they have a 'network' of local installers so they can take on projects in parallel) do not all know wireless. We could put together a 'variable-proof' package to compensate for that.
Or, we may be able to put together an agreement to go from site-to-site-to-site and give you a cost that is averaged across the locations. Doing so would allow you to take on more complexity - such as using a central 802.11a (54Mbps) AP to feed 802.11b APs to hit the users. Very clean, but not recommended for the novice because .11a has such a short transmission distance.
If we (or any other qualified wireless integrator) were to go on-site, we would also be able to ensure that the APs are connected to an appropriately configured isolated VLAN on a separate subnet, and that as little signal as possible left the building - things that are not possible with cable-pullers.
I believe we can make the cost per site reasonable (labor and travel less than equipment cost) and predictable (flat rate per location or per user) - and avoid future concerns regarding performance, security and reliability. But it's not a project that any VAR out there would or should take on.
Perhaps we should talk..
208-887-3794 or 1-866-2-UNWIRE
It ocurred to me last night that you might be asking to build the wireless LAN without wires for staff located at client offices - which makes a lot of sense.
If that is the case, you will want the installer to be careful about checking for *existing* wireless traffic, so as not to disturb the client's operations.
Yes, that is one of the reasons (the main one, perhaps).
One option will be deploy a second wired lan, attaching the APs to it to cover the entire building.
But, as the offices has not "technical floor" -I am not sure how it is said in english-, the cost is high.
I hadn't thought about you being outside the U.S. - I don't believe 802.11a has been approved everywhere. Europe in particular may go with a next-generation HiperLAN instead. But your clients may not want you to plug APs into their wired LAN, even if they set up an isolated VLAN for them.
By 'technical floor', I think you mean that each office does not have their own IT department, so the ideal solution for you would be a pre-packaged, pre-configured solution for each office, requiring no wiring and no on-site expertise.
This would be possible if you had a basic floor plan for each office and could send out a simple package ahead of the installation to have the local staff collect some basic data. We could put the packages together based on that data and walk the local person through the installation, then use a modem line to connect to the equipment and ensure correct operation.
The issue of 802.11a vs. HiperLAN would determine the actual configuration, but the basic layout (5GHz backhaul and 2.4GHz user cells) would be the same.
Let me know if you would like assistance in putting together such a program.