Jody Botham, Network Architect at ASK4
ASK4 is an award-winning provider of high speed internet solutions and managed data services for multi-tenant accommodation.
We’ve been using Ekahau for a while now and feel quite experienced using it, but as we hadn’t sent anybody on the ECSE course before, we wanted to see if there were any useful tips and tricks that we were missing out on.
We also wanted to know if there were any other useful tips on wireless and RF design we could benefit from. We already have a design methodology that works well for us, but it’s always good to hear other ideas and opinions from wireless professionals.
Yes, I enjoyed the course and thought it was really well structured and covered a lot of useful topics. If other staff from ASK4 were to go on the course I think would be really useful for them.
Eddie Forero was a really good instructor and he had various anecdotes which helped with everybody’s understanding of the material. Obviously he covered the course syllabus but a lot of really useful stuff also came out of the questions he was asked, things that wouldn’t necessarily have been covered otherwise.
It’s really good that the first day covers an overview of CWNA level 802.11 and RF theory and how it operates. If you are new to wireless there is a lot of information to take in on the first day, but the idea is not that you remember it all, just that you get a quick understanding of what’s going on to help you with your designs.
It was also great that during the course it’s reinforced how important co-channel interference (CCI) is. Airtime utilisation and resource sharing are so important in wireless design, however a lot of materials gloss over it, but the ECSE course has some nice simple graphics that demonstrate it really well.
One thing in particular stands out – we’ve always stayed away from Ekahau’s continuous survey mode, thinking that stop-and-go is more suited to what we do. However listening to Eddie’s explanation about his experiences of using both methods, and the benefits of moving to continuous surveying has changed my mind. We even did a practical exercise in the hotel and it proved to be considerably quicker than stop-and-go and actually collects some data that would be really useful for us.
Yes, definitely. There were lots of other questions about how Ekahau works that I got answers to as well. As Eddie has been using the software for years and has regular contact with the developers he was able to explain a few things that aren’t necessarily immediately obvious. For example we assumed that Ekahau was modelling a specific client device to show the signal levels on the heatmaps, when in actual fact it’s just done from the free space path loss calculations.
Pretty much anybody involved in the technical delivery of wireless, whether that’s somebody that has actually got to sit and design a wireless network, but also people that are tasked with supporting it from an operational perspective. Understanding how to design a network, and what the designers were trying to achieve would help greatly when it comes to supporting it. We’ve got guys here who provide support to end users on a daily basis, they don’t have anything to do with the designs, but I think the course would be just as valid to them as well.
For information on the ECSE course click here.