I am still going through the three-day iBwave Wi-Fi certification training class. It is now day two. Today, we started the class using output maps. iBwave supports the following output map templates, which can all be fully customized:
- Signal strength
- Best channel
- Overlap zone
- Maximum achievable data rate
- Co-Channel Interference
- Average downlink data rate
They can all be generated for 2.4 or 5 GHz bands. You can also create a new output map to more specifically meet your needs. In addition, you can run the prediction for an output map, lock it, and then create another one like it, make changes to the plan and run the prediction. This allows you to compare the new results with the locked results – a very good feature.
The following image shows the CCI output map with three APs intentionally set to channel 1 in 2.4 GHz to illustrate the tool. It is important to note that such tools cannot really predict client-generated CCI. They only indicate the CCI that will result in areas from APs that can be seen on the same channel. Some guesswork could be used (possibly based on fancy statistics), but most tools just report on the AP-generated CCI. For my definition of CCI, see my blog post Defining Wi-Fi: CCI.
When creating the capacity map, you can configure several parameters to define the capacity. These include:
- Market share (percentage of clients) for 2.4 vs 5 GHz
- Percentage of SISO, 2×2 and 3×3 MIMO devices
- Usage profiles defining Mbps in the link and throughput in Kbps
- Application services including email, online gaming, web browsing and file downloads
- Equipment limits (number of clients per AP radio)
The following image shows the Capacity Output map based on one capacity zone in the lower right corner and every other area defined as standard office use.
Data collection was the next topic of the day. Data collection is used to perform either a manual site survey or a validation survey. Like most tools in this category, both active and passive surveys are supported and iBwave Wi-Fi provides a communication server for the active survey.
Once collected, survey data can be used to calibrate modeling for the design as shown in the following image.
An extensive reporting solution is also included to generate all the documentation required by your design ranging from heat maps to bill of materials. The components database is extensive as well and updated regularly.
Tomorrow will be all about the lab. So I will report on the experience there and then you can expect a review blog at CWNP.com within a few days as well.