So you want to build a mall and cause heavier traffic in intersections. Great! But today is the Information Era, and no mall is complete without "free" connectivity to the internet. You want your customers to stay as long as possible, to maximize the potential of profit.
What did you say? It's easy? Just add a fuckton of Wi-Fi access points at every place and corner? Oh.
YOU'RE DAMN WRONG
You're going to face a lot of complaints from your customers about your Wi-Fi being too slow, connections being terminated unexpectedly... It's gonna be hell. Not only will your customers suffer, but you will too. Your investment to access points will go to waste with that attitude.
What you need is careful planning. How much planning you need depends on how much APs you will add, so the more APs, the more planning is needed. Keep these questions in mind:
- How can I keep my own APs from interfering with each other?
- How can I cooperate with establishments paying rent who wants to have their own Wi-Fi?
- How can my customers have their own Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hotspots not interfered and not interfere with my and the establishments' APs?
If you can answer all these, then congratulations, you can consider your Wi-Fi mall as perfect. Yay. But how can we achieve it? Here are my thoughts:
- Make future establishments who want to have their own Wi-Fi consult you first before they provide their AP. This lets you know what channels your and their APs should use.
- APs using the same channel must always be far apart, because they will interfere each other if you don't keep them apart.
- Consider freeing up one channel for customers who use tethering and Bluetooth. For example, if you use channels 1 and 6, make 11 free. This make sure that your customers won't experience nor cause interference. It is also good for Bluetooth, because it has more clear frequencies to hop to.
- Consider using the 5 GHz spectrum, especially if you're going to add a really big number of APs. 5 GHz has a lot more channels than 2.4 GHz, so if you want a lot of overlapping APs, this is the way to go. Of course, there are devices that don't support 5 GHz, so always make 2.4 GHz available for backward compatibility. TLDR, if you can use and afford 5 GHz, use it, along with 2.4 GHz.
- Never, EVER make your APs 40 MHz wide. By doing that, you're occupying TWO CHANNELS. So if you're channel 1, you occupy channels 1 and 6. You are just limiting yourself. If someone told you that occupying more channels increases your speed, they are lying. And even if it does, interference will outweigh the increased speed. It is like multiplying 0 by 2.
Good luck with your Wi-Fi mall, capitalist.