September 28, 2018


What Installers Know that the Rest of Us Overlook (and it’s not simply Christmas lights)

Shortly before the Christmas holidays, Ofcom released a report stating that fairy lights interrupt wifi signals.

Since temporary events often take place in unfamiliar venues with temporary technology solutions, it is vital to understand how the building fabric, variable environmental conditions, external technology interference or venue location may affect wifi performance.

When setting up a temporary wireless environment for specific event connectivity, reputable wireless providers are able to measure and allow for such external influences and provide you with a fast and stable wifi network for your event.

Here are a few factors that wireless experts take into consideration when planning a temporary wifi network for your event, which many of us often take for granted.

Premises & Infrastructure

When professional wireless experts assess an event site, they initially consider and appreciate the overall construction of the host premises. This includes the thickness and composition of structural walls and floors, the presence of metallic structural beams or other metallic surfaces and any specific building grounding systems which may be in place.

Thick masonry walls and reinforced concrete structures seriously impact wifi signals while metallic surfaces disrupt the signal quality and reduce the wireless coverage.

Wireless specialists can determine the best placement for access points in such environments in order to provide temporary wifi cover into areas where such restrictions may be present.

Competing Channels and External Interference

Electronic signals traverse space in the form of electromagnetic waves. Some wavelengths are wide, some narrow. Channel frequencies often overlap or become overwhelmed with high traffic volumes.

Many wifi technologies, including mobile phones, security systems, data networking and wireless baby monitors use the 2.4GHz band.

The more use the frequency band receives from competing technologies, the more crowded and dysfunctional the channel performance becomes.

Dual band wireless hardware systems are capable of supporting wireless data communications in less congested frequencies like the 5GHz range alongside the busier 2.4GHz range.

Wireless specialists will select the most suitable hardware for the facility, the expected number of concurrent users and the measured external interference from other local wireless systems.

Environmental Conditions

Temporary wifi networks are found in a variety of environmental conditions.

Whether outside or indoors, you need to consider the effect of liquid, in particular water, on the performance of wifi signal dispersion.

Mist and rain can play a huge degrading part in the effectiveness of wifi networks in outdoor spaces, while densely leafed trees will completely block wifi signal dissipation.

However, high numbers of people within indoor confined spaces (each one of us composed of up to 75% water) can be just as detrimental to wifi performance.

Security

Secure wireless networks usually run slightly slower than unsecured networks. While network security is important and shouldn’t be disregarded, consult with your wireless provider to determine the amount of security your event requires.

High quality wireless access points provide extra security without diminishing signal speed.

While most wifi experts agree that the majority of these variables are manageable if they are recognised, you don’t want to find yourself in a perfect storm of contributing factors.

For wifi connectivity at an event in an unfamiliar facility, you’ll need to consult a wireless professional because getting it right is not as simple as it may appear.