Exam season: days of Wi-Fi compromise is over for schools

4 min read.

News Article
4 February 2020

Is WiFi Downtime causing issues to your students learning experience?

The wireless edge of the network has become ubiquitous, and so too have our expectations of a reliable and secure connection. As we have become used to the convenience of connecting wherever and however we want, we tolerate the flaws in a typical Wi-Fi connection – pauses in downloads, occasional drop-outs where we must re-connect, and lengthy waits as we try to join a public Wi-Fi network. For our personal browsing, we make a conscious compromise between convenience and reliability because apart from being frustrating at times, no real harm is done. But in a school environment, reliable wireless connectivity can’t be a compromise for school learning, especially when it comes to exam season.

Multi-Channels Don’t Support Modern Learning

Multi-channel Wi-Fi has become the predominant architecture and most of the time, it does a great job. However, there are some situations where multi-channel is not the best choice – particularly in an education environment where needs are widely diverse. There are however alternative solutions that can provide a better experience.

If your school fits in to one or all of the below categories – this may be worth looking in to: 

  1. Dynamic physical environments – Mobile devices, roaming from class to class across campus usually require more AP’s to be deployed to be able to cope – although this then introduces more radio interference and brings more cost.

  2. Reliable environments – Do you have a need for connectivity to mobile devices, laptops and IPad, where even a momentary loss of data connectivity can have a serious effect?

  3. Broad location environments – Does your school have many roaming wireless users, where students are moving from one classroom to another but depend on reliable wireless connectivity?

Hybrid Wireless, puts a ‘Blanket’ over your connectivity worries!

What’s needed in today’s fast-paced technology-led schools is a cost-effective Wi-Fi solution that combines the best features of both architectures: multi-channel’s throughput with single-channel’s easy deployment and reliable, seamless roaming connectivity.

Now, with the new Hybrid Wireless solution from Allied Telesis, a Wi-Fi network can be deployed with a mix of channel architectures and administered using the same management tool. Using the name “Channel Blanket” for the single-channel architecture, the Hybrid Wireless APs can offer both multi-channel and Channel Blanket at the same time. Operating at the fastest Wi-Fi speeds available today, they are the ideal choice for reliable Wi-Fi in the challenging environments described above.

  • In a dynamic environment, Channel Blanket APs can be deployed in greater numbers than multi-channel APs because their single radio channel does not introduce interference.

  • Channel Blanket has the advantage in an environment that requires reliable roaming too. With single-channel, all APs in the network appear as if they are a single AP, so the mobile client only sees that it is connected to one large AP.

  • In an environment with a high client density, Channel Blanket can increase the available bandwidth by enabling more APs to be installed in the same area without introducing co-channel interference.

Why Allied Telesis Is the Solution for You

Allied Telesis has given schools the flexibility to configure their wireless LAN to provide multi-channel coverage for some clients and Channel Blanket for others – this is useful when some clients want the best bandwidth, and others need seamless roaming for non-stop connectivity. This Hybrid Wireless solution is an effective alternative to the compromises and work-around of multi-channel Wi-Fi.

To find out more about Hybrid Wireless and how you can have a no-compromise Wi-Fi experience with reduced administration effort at a reasonable cost, contact us.