When a new
skyscraper is erected, no one ever looks at the finished product and says, “That’s
a strong foundation.” What is ultimately supporting the skyscraper, and making
its existence possible, is a silent factor next to the magnificent height it
reaches and its beautiful external features.
CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Jennifer Duits explains there are three points to consider when designing a campus network for optimal wireless access.
foundation of a skyscraper, the fiber backbone of a campus network also is a
silent factor that makes the wired and wireless networks possible. I’m not sure
I’ve ever heard anyone outside the telecom industry say, “This place has great
Wi-Fi. It must have a solid fiber backbone.”
the fiber backbone is rarely given “props” by those who use the network, it
plays an important role in the network’s quality. Well-placed Wi-Fi or cellular access points
built on a solid fiber foundation in a campus environment can achieve faster
speeds and reach longer distances. As you can imagine, an access point is only
as good as the signal leading up to it. If the fiber network isn’t designed
properly, lack of fiber or insertion loss within the network could lead to
reduced network access or no access at all for Wi-Fi or cellular access points.
designing a campus
network for optimal wireless access, there are several points to consider:
- Planning the location of the access points for
optimal wireless coverage and then planning the fiber network leading up to
the right access points to meet your needs.
if you reach the access points with traditional power, or would powered
fiber be a better option? What about the other edge devices?
- Look at the bandwidth needed, not only today,
but in the future as well.
use and traffic from BYOD,
open access, primary connectivity media, voice over IP, remote meeting causes
strain on the network. You need to accommodate for several devices and the
systems they use.
at your need for both licensed and unlicensed wireless networks. We are seeing more convergence of these
networks happening where shared infrastructure needs to support a cellular, WI-FI,
IoT or private network (like CBRS). All this could affect your bandwidth
- Is your fiber backhaul scalable and large enough?
need enough fibers to each telecom closet to support Wi-Fi and other equipment
all the way back to the main telecom room.
the number of “smarter” edge devices ever increasing, we would need backhaul
capacity that’s scalable to meet bandwidth demands. High-definition cameras, 5G
radio points, Wi-Fi 6, etc. are bandwidth hungry devices and applications requiring
large backhaul capacity.
is an educational institution, corporate environment, or an apartment complex,
inhabitants are starting to view access to wireless as one of the deciding
factors of where they learn, work and live. They may not be asking about the
fiber backbone, but it is a silent factor in their decision making.
fiber backbone foundation able to provide the speed and bandwidth needed to
support quality licensed and unlicensed wireless for today’s IoT devices is
crucial to keep users happy. When planned correctly, you can also design your
fiber network to easily meet future user demands as well. The next time you are
on a campus network, think a little about the fiber backbone providing your
wired and wireless experience and before you step into that new skyscraper,
check out the foundation.