What is important in budgeting a wireless network project?

Wireless has become a must have in today’s workplace. Making the right choices for your organization is critical to achieve operational efficiencies. Creating an agile workplace that keeps employees engaged is more important today than ever before.

Based on our experience, we typically see prices ranging from $750.00 to $2,000.00+ per access point.

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Some factors that contribute to overall cost of the project.

Survey Type

Active Survey happens when you do an onsite survey using testing equipment and live access points. This is typically done when wireless is mission-critical to business success. Another method of planning for wireless, is to do a predictive survey where assumptions are made and software is used to predict the behavior of wireless.

Cabling needs to each access point

The amount of cables needed for each access point is based on throughput, redundancy or the use of one port for console. The amount of cables to each access point and the type of Category cable can affect cost.

Coverage

Do you wish to cover all spaces in your facility or just certain areas? Some installations require only common areas while others are looking for total coverage. Knowing the differences and what you are trying to accomplish is critical in the budgeting process.

Density

Consider how many people will be accessing the wireless network in a given area. For instance, in auditorium, class room, event area, shopping centers, you will need to plan for many users. Understanding your mobile users needs will affect cost.

Application

The applications that are allowed and consume bandwidth on your network affect cost. For instance, will they be watching Netflix, downloading content in 4K, streaming music or just surfing the web?

Security

Outside of common security measures, such as encryption, you may want to deploy radius, LDAP, 2-Step authentication or other physical or software based security measures. Security needs will affect cost.

Controller vs Controller-less

Some clients prefer to have a physical controller at each site while others use solutions where the controller is centralized. How you deploy the smarts of your wireless network will affect cost.

Installation

Physical installation of the access points is an important factor in budgeting. Factors like ceiling heights or whether the access point will be installed outdoors will affect the overall price of the system.

Post Installation

Most manufacturers have management or cloud licensing fees that range anywhere from one and three year increments. These costs need to be considered when considering total cost of ownership.

Whether you need some rough numbers to reference in your next meeting or you want to sharpen pencils and talk specifics, one of our ASD® experts will be glad to help you with rapid ballpark estimates tailored to your needs or a detailed quote based on your exact specifications. Have any questions? Ask ASD®.

Common Cost Factors for Most Projects

Geographic Location

Where is the project located? Some parts of the country are more expensive than others. Some rural areas may require travel due to availability of the field resources which could increase cost.

Size & Type Environment

Type of environment will impact price. Class A Office, Distribution Center, Manufacturing, Retail, Indoor vs. Outdoor could all impact overall cost.

Labor Requirements

Projects being installed with a Union Labor requirement will be more expensive than projects without the requirement. Some projects require a prevailing wage to be paid to a technician which can also increase costs.

Infrastructure

Pathways can contribute greatly to overall system costs. Costs of core holes sizing and cutting slab for conduits needs to be considered in your budgeting process.

Installation Hours

Normal working hours will be less expensive than afterhours or weekends.

New Construction vs. Renovation

New construction will typically be less expensive than renovation.

Local Codes & Standards

Local codes can drive cost as they vary in requirement. For instance, in some locations across the U.S. all overhead cable must run in conduit while others can be supported with J-Hooks in the ceiling.

Permitting

Permitting varies from state to state and city to city. One city may not require anything more than an application form to receive a permit, while others may want full engineered drawings that go through a plan review process. The full set of engineered drawings carries a substantial price tag that elevates the overall system cost. Another consideration is the time required if the review process is a requirement.

Economies of Scale

What type of structure is being built? A system in a manufacturing plant is developed completely different than a highrise office building. An apartment complex can reuse the same templates for each building; this saves design time and costs.

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