Wireless data transmission is an integral part of modern offices. Transmission speeds to access points continue to push bandwidths upward
WLAN in the office environment
Wireless data transmission is now an integral part of modern offices. In the age of mobile devices, the complete integration of a wireless network (WLAN) in a building is now a key prerequisite in most companies. Despite this, WLAN technology is still associated with specific risks, including individual acceptance problems and possible operative limitations.
Among the acceptance, problems are controversial discussions on health risks caused by electromagnetic waves and rare cases of hypersensitivity to the system in certain individuals.
Operative limitations primarily deal with interference in the wireless network caused by external sources or other wireless devices. Shared bandwidth and the issue of data security are other topics to consider.
Dedicated cabling for WLAN
In order to minimize these risks and achieve good signal coverage, R&M recommends using dedicated cabling for the Wireless Access Points (WAP) of the wireless networks. With this, WAP can be planned at the optimal antenna positions. The technical report ISO/IEC TR 24704 and ISO/IEC 11801-6 give guidelines for planning the cabling for optimal coverage with wireless services.
Bandwidth hungry WLAN systems
The WAP are connected to the floor distributors using LAN cabling with enough transmission capacities. However, the transmission speeds on WLAN systems continue to grow. Transmission protocols of 10Gbit/s and beyond are now available and foreseen. Class EA cabling is recommended as a minimum for connecting this latest generation of WAP. Multiple 10Gbit/s connections per device or 25G/40G capable cabling should be considered to future proof the installation.
For longer cable installations, FO cabling with associated power source could be an option. However, since hardly any WAP with FO interface exist, separate electro-optical conversion must be provided.
Remote power to Access Points
The power supply to the WLAN components also must be taken into account right from the start. This can be made via classic low-voltage distribution or via a remote power supply over the data network (Power over Ethernet (PoE) or Power over Ethernet Plus (PoEP)). The temperature rise from the power transmission in the copper cabling and its impact on the attenuation budget must be considered in this solution.