Recently, TSAChoice needed to update our wireless infrastructure. Our old access points were Aruba 802.11n units that were beyond end of life, as they had originally been installed when we first moved into our current location in 2007.
At that time, the solution fit our needs perfectly. Over the last couple of years, as technology evolved and developed, we found that we needed to make a change.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in January 2014 released the 802.11ac standards; it was perfect timing, considering our company was planning on changing out this technology soon. Many laptop and mobile device manufacturers had already begun incorporating the 802.11ac functionality in their devices since as early as 2012 to prepare for the release of these standards.
Our challenges included:
- Bandwidth issues as a result of multiple mobile devices per user
- Technology advancements with our mobile devices (in particular, supporting video applications) was exceeding the features and functionality that our older access points could support
- Control and access for our guests and applications required during their visits
Armed with our customized wireless testing apparatus that Bob Romano created, we proceeded to complete our wireless survey to determine the best locations for access points.
We chose to install Aruba IAP-225 access points to provide 802.11ac (also known as 5G WiFi) coverage throughout our building. These access points provided immediate and noticeable benefits including blanket coverage throughout our facility as well as outside areas that required coverage while also doubling our channel bandwidth.
802.11ac standards include improvements such as increases in bandwidth speeds and beamforming technology. Skipping all the technical jargon, bottom line, speeds of 3x’s faster of the previous 802.11n wireless infrastructure should be expected, and the new beamforming technology allows the ability to focus signal strength toward active user locations. If you would like to read the Aruba tech version of 802.11ac features and functionality click here.