M&C Saatchi Abel is a strategic advertising, marketing & communications consultancy based in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Their offices are situated in central urban environments.
Due to the locations of their offices, the design of their Wi-Fi network, and the dependency on using various online conferencing and calling platforms, posed a unique challenge.
There are several businesses in these areas, closely grouped, each utilising their independent Wi-Fi networks. As these networks are independently managed and of various brands, including Ruckus, Ubiquity, and Mikrotik, there is interference being created due to a combination of high-density deployments and inefficient channel design that disrupts the performance of their Wi-Fi, causing dropped connections and packet loss. This is especially prominent during long conference calls.
VOD was tasked with identifying the root cause of several issues experienced on site. The first step was to conduct detail site surveys, including full Wi-Fi to obtain detailed real-time information.
Using the survey, VOD was able to identify several contributing issues that were having an accumulative detrimental effect on the performance and stability of the Wi-Fi. These include the following:
Once these issues were identified, VOD was able to adjust the configurations of the Ruckus access points to mitigate the effects of the interference by adjusting channels widths, prioritizing the appropriate channels that were least affected by the interference, reducing cell sizes, and attempting to open communications with adjacent offices to create a plan for effective channel design that would benefit all.
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Practical before and after tests using popular conference call platforms showed an immediate improvement. Both call quality and reliability were improved, resulting in greatly reducing the dropped calls and stuttering video and audio. The work carried out on the network has made for a far more professional experience and mitigated users issues whilst trying to go about their work.