When installing or upgrading a structured cabling plant, IT departments can demonstrate
significant time and money savings by determining their wireless LAN (WLAN) requirements
and folding them into the project right from the start. The reason is that while WLANs
provide over-the-air communication in the access network in areas where mobility and
portability are needed, they also create new cabling requirements at the back end, often
in hard-to-reach places. It’s far less expensive and labor intensive to do all cabling at once,
without ceilings, walls and other obstructions in the way, than to install WLAN cabling
later as a separate project.
The most common way of deploying WLAN access points (APs) is to mount them in ceilings and
cable them directly to an Ethernet switch port. Generally, a 15- to 20-foot piece of cable called a
service loop is left in the ceiling (Figure 1) in case an AP later needs to be moved slightly to tune
coverage or avoid interference from other RF devices, such as wireless phones and microwave
ovens. Planning for those cable runs upfront, in addition to your other network cabling needs, is
financially and operationally prudent, allowing your organization to purchase all the necessary
materials and labor in bulk with a corresponding volume discount.
If you consider only your wired network as you plan for your new infrastructure, you’ll likely
have to pull additional cabling for your wireless equipment as a separate project. You might
also have to change out some switches and power injectors. That situation can be painful
on a number of fronts.
Smart Planning for New
When you have the luxury to cable a
building from scratch, it pays to include
wireless networks in your upfront plan
By Ahmet Tuncay,
Chief Technology Officer and
Vice President, Trapeze Networks
and Paul Kish, Director of
Systems and Standards, Belden
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .