Tag Archives: wifi design

iBwave Wi-Fi Training – Day Three

The final day of training with iBwave was primarily focused on a from scratch design to help ensure understanding of all the topics covered. The exam itself is a practical exam, meaning that you have to create a design and submit it for approval and wait up to seven days to find out if you passed. Oh the stress 🙂

The from scratch design was of a shopping mall that was a moderately small floor plan of about 100 meters in length (well small for a modern shopping mall). The specifications included information about capacity areas, equipment constraints, the number of users and so on. Have a real-world design scenario to wrap up the training was a good way to end it all.

Now that the training is over, I will take the exam in the next couple of days and then write a review of iBwave Wi-Fi and the certification program at the CWNP website.

My final take away from the training, in relation to iBwave Wi-Fi as a design tool is that it has the features and capabilities that most WLAN designers would need. It has some areas for improvement, as all tools do, but is a solid solution for WLAN design.

Just for fun, here’s some RF art courtesy of iBwave Wi-Fi’s propagation modeling:

RF Flame of Power
RF Flame of Power
RF Horizons
RF Horizons

Look for my post at CWNP.com in the coming weeks to get a more thorough and integrated review of the tool. As we are vendor-neutral at CWNP, it will not make an ultimate recommendation for or against the tool or compare it with other tools, but will give you all the information you need to make a good decision yourself.

My goal is to do the same exercise or similar with other design and Wi-Fi tools so that you can have excellent information to help you make buying and use decisions. As with many tools, you may very well find that you will use one tool for one type of project and another tool for another type (assuming a large budget [smile]).

Until then, thanks for viewing.


iBwave Wi-Fi Training – Day Two

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
  • SNR
  • Co-Channel Interference
  • Average downlink data rate
  • Capacity

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.

CCI Output Map - iBwave
CCI Output Map – iBwave

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.

Capacity Output Map - iBwave
Capacity Output Map – iBwave

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.

Calibration Model - iBwave
Calibration Model – iBwave

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.

Until tomorrow!