Wired expertise leads to wireless know-how, says Kedington’s Porter

Matt Porter, Kedington

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10 September 2014 | 0

Some might say it is like turkeys voting for Christmas. As Ireland’s largest provider of structured cabling networks for the last 25 years, Kedington now intends to achieve the same status in wireless networking. You might think that such an approach could undermine the company’s core business but in fact, we believe the opposite is the case.

Kedington have been quietly installing Wi-Fi for over a decade now, in conjunction with its wired platforms. The need for structured cabling in a building is increasing, not decreasing. This increase is driven by the migration of multiple disparate systems to a single, standardised cabling plant.

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Previously, structured data cable was used primarily for data networks. Indeed, it is still used for data networks but it also used for intelligent lighting systems, IP CCTV systems, access control systems, information display systems, building management systems and more — the list keeps getting longer. Power over Ethernet (PoE) plays a major part in that growth. So why the focus on wireless networking?

Wireless networks started off as a ‘nice to have’, ad hoc addition to a data network – deployed in isolated locations such as meeting rooms. As security and throughput improved they grew into overlay networks, allowing for greater mobility and flexibility in the workplace. Now, with the ratification of the IEEE 802.11ac standard, wired and wireless networks are being deployed as a unified access layer rather than as two distinct networks.

Kedington provides network infrastructures, and wireless is now seen as an integral part of a buildings infrastructure. Installing wireless networks however differs significantly from that of installing a switched network. Switched networks are installed in a few centralised locations within a building, typically one or two central communications rooms and multiple wiring closets.

It leverages the installed passive cable network which provides the final connectivity to client devices. A wireless network uses access points (APs) to provide the final connectivity to these client devices. These APs must be distributed throughout the fabric of the building and must in turn be connected to the switched network via structured cabling. Deciding on where to locate APs requires a real understanding of radio frequency (RF) management.

“With the ratification of the IEEE 802.11ac standard, wired and wireless networks are being deployed as a unified access layer rather than as two distinct networks”

Then finally, you need to understand IP networks to securely deploy and integrate the wireless network into the wired network to create a single, managed, secure unified network. The successful design and deployment of a unified wired and wireless network requires the marriage of multiple skillsets: IP networking, RF expertise, structured cable networking as well as security and user authentication. It also requires a fully integrated project approach.

What sets Kedington apart from our competitors is that we uniquely have all of these skills in-house. In fact, many of the industry’s network service providers, including three different global carriers, have used Kedington for wireless network projects. This has included detailed wireless surveys, project deployments and problem resolution.

The structured cable market will continue to grow but the wireless network market is about to explode. Kedington are uniquely positioned to remain a leader in both.

 

 

Matt Porter is managing director with Kedington Group.

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