Redway Networks popular “Win Big” competition returned at the end of last year with a bigger than ever prize for the education sector. The competition was supported by Aerohive Networks to offer a school, college or university the opportunity to win a wireless solution with their new 802.11ax WiFi 6 wireless technology worth over £20,000, providing the very best in connectivity and mobility for their students.
Redway Networks has now been running their “Win Big” competition for three years and this year saw a record number of entries and one winner was selected at random after a four-month entry period. Moulton School & Science College in Northampton were chosen as this year’s winner and were delighted to receive the news that they had won. They were very excited at being able to replace their outdated solution with the latest AX wireless technology and to be one of the first schools in the UK with this technology. The solution included 15 x Aerohive AP650’s access points which are designed for high performance environments and combine the latest in WiFi standards (IEEE 802.11ax technology), the latest in Ethernet standards (2.5G capability) and Aerohive’s software-defined dual 5 GHz radios for indoor and industrial environments.
The wireless solution has now been installed and configured and the school is now benefitting from much faster download speeds and increased coverage, as well as higher density capabilities across the network, which has already proven invaluable for the large school.
Leigh Hayes, Director of Redway Networks Ltd said: “We are committed to providing support to the Educational Sector, enabling them to benefit from our provision of leading-edge technologies. I am excited about the future for the pupils and staff at Moulton School & Science College who are already benefitting from the installation of the wireless solution, and the fantastic AX technology will really ensure that the school is future proofed for at the least the next ten years.”
Phil Tomaselli, Network Manager, commented on the win “This is amazing for the school, the AX access points will ensure longevity and will now take us into the future, offering the very best in technology for our students and staff. This has allowed us to replace our outdated wireless network which was 6 years old and takes the pressure off our budgets and can now enable us to grow and continue our rolling IT programme.
At present, we have installed the solution in our main building but we are now planning to roll out the installation of AX access points across the entire school to ensure that all of the school benefits from the latest technology and its capabilities.
We really appreciate Redway Networks support with the competition; the solution will provide immense benefits to the school. They provided a detailed site survey before the installation to take place to ensure that the solution gives maximum coverage and performance. They have continued to provide support through the configuration and installation. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Redway Networks when we extend the solution across the rest of our buildings later in the year.”
Redway Network’s “Win Big” competition will be back for Autumn 2019 and we will be offering another school, college or university the chance to win a 802.11ax wireless solution worth over £20,000! Keep an eye out on our website for details or follow us on LinkedIn to be in with a chance of winning!
Left to right: Leigh Hayes, Sales Director of Redway Networks Ltd with Trevor Jones, Headteacher and Phil Tomaselli, Network Manager of Moulton School & Science College.
Patient services and medical equipment are constantly evolving, and technology needs to evolve to keep up with the demand. One of the biggest technological advances in healthcare within the past decade has undoubtedly been the implementation of WiFi in healthcare to advance and develop services.
Reliable WiFi capability has become an integral part of any healthcare provider’s technical infrastructure, providing not only convenience but also a framework for the delivery of services.
Why choose Aerohive for healthcare establishments?
Aerohive can provide WiFi for large establishments including healthcare institutions to cover the connectivity requirements of the enterprise. Even the largest hospital trusts can utilise Aerohive’s services, with a single HiveManager being able to scale to 1+ million managed devices, with regional data centres being able to handle over 10 million connected clients.
WiFi in healthcare settings and hospitals is being used more and more to enhance care and patient satisfaction. For example, WiFi-enabled devices can be tracked and located quickly within the institution, such as infusion pumps, defibrillators, and portable monitors. Many institutions are also implementing private networks for data security, and for providing seamless connectivity between patients and staff. Time is money, and in healthcare settings, time could also be the difference between life and death. Anything that is able to speed up communication, data transfer, or locating items offers more time for clinicians to spend with patients.
Real-time information is accessible from any location
Within a healthcare setting, WiFi can be implemented to stream data from connected medical devices directly to work stations or mobile devices. This allows nurses or doctors to access real-time information on the condition of a patient from any location, which can also provide alerts should the patient’s observations fall outside of pre-set levels. This has the opportunity not only to save a significant amount of time, but it also greatly enhances patient safety as their clinical condition can be continually monitored without a member of clinical staff needing to be directly at the bedside.
A final important aspect of WiFi in healthcare is that guest WiFi can prove invaluable for patients who may spend a great deal of time in hospital. It enables patients and visitors to stay connected even when they are just waiting for an appointment in a waiting room, and also helps with patient morale to have access to the internet whilst spending time recovering.
Wireless technology is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. The way we use the internet has completely and radically altered the lives and businesses of billions of people over the globe. But what does the future of WiFi hold? We’ve brought together 3 of the biggest trends in the future of WiFi:
1. The Internet of Things
Over the last few decades, we’ve seen WiFi being used from only a handful of large, bulky computers to a plethora of slim, powerful laptops, tablets, and most of all smartphones. In recent years, we’ve also seen other devices (such as printers, home assistants, wearable tech) connect to WiFi networks to improve the ease with which we work, study and play.
This expansion of connected devices has been dubbed ‘The Internet of Things’; a network of essentially any product you can think of imbued with wireless connectivity. Although this concept is no newcomer, what is only emerging now is a generation of tech that changes our lives quite considerably.
Already on the market are home appliances such as fridges, kettles and printers that can automatically reorder your groceries, boil up water on demand, or buy fresh ink. The concept of a truly connected, ‘smart home’ may feel futuristic, but in reality it is already becoming a way of live (albeit in a piecemeal way). As the adoption curve follows its arc, we expect daily life to change quite drastically as this new tech becomes more mainstream, and its benefits are more touted.
WiFi will be the conduit for this change, since it is the automatic choice for supporting the higher bandwidth requirements of this next-gen tech.
2. Ever-increasing speed and reach
One trend we can all bank on is increased browsing speed. We’ve witnessed the demands on WiFi networks explode, both in terms of the number of users connected, and the amount of data each connected device downloads per millisecond (think your trusty 3210 vs the latest iPhone). In line with this demand, we’ve also witnessed speeds skyrocket, from struggling to download a small image file to millions of people streaming HD video (8K looms), social media and the rise of gaming.
In addition to personal use, businesses have been heavily investing in wireless connectivity for many years, achieving improved efficiency, accuracy and a superior customer offering. All this additional traffic has – over the last decade – caused a growing concern over levels of congestion and associated limitations on performance.
It was estimated that by 2020, WiFI networks would be struggling to handle traffic demands due to the spectrum being too busy. Enter WiFi-6E. Opening up additional spectrum has been a major step towards easing congestion, and as WiFi-6E devices become more widespread, this will hail a new era of connectivity.
We’re now on the verge of bigger changes; AI, automation, robotics, and IoT becoming part of mainstream working, living and playing. Huge strides are being made forward in wireless technologies, but it still isn’t entirely unimaginable that technology itself will exceed the potential of the WiFi that needs to underpin it. One thing is for certain – the volume of traffic is set to rise, so speed, bandwidth and the balance between 5G and WiFi will have to match demand.
3. Wi-Fi 7
WiFi 7 will be another leap forward from the innovative steps made by WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E. It will bring even faster speeds through 320 MHz channels (twice the size of previous WiFi generations), as well as dramatically improving responsiveness and reliability with 4K QAM and a maximum data rate of almost 5.8Gbps (almost 2.5 times faster than WiFi 6/6E. With MLO, WiFi 7 devices will be able to connect on 2 bands, using aggregation for faster speeds, or employing dual band for improved reliability with the lowest and most precise latencies. We predict this will hugely impact the streaming and sharing of 8K video, and other huge files currently limited by download speeds. WiFi 7 is going to be vital for future use cases that require the best performance possible, which begs the question – why will users remain content with unequal performance?
4. Unbottling the oncoming bottlenecks
With the huge increase in throughput promised by WiFi-6E and onwards (hello WiFi7), the underlying switched network risks becoming a bottleneck to future WiFi networks. Deploying mGig capable switches will mitigate this, providing connectivity speeds of 2.5Gbps, 5Gbps and 10Gbps to access points and help futureproof your wired network for the new WiFi standards. We see this being a huge component of network design in the coming years.
5. The move towards personalisation
The power of big data has started to change the way the world works. Targeted ads, specialised content and various other uses of this valuable resource are commonplace today. But as WiFi networks, potentially using AI technology and machine learning, get smarter at predicting what type of speeds we’re looking for, the kind of experience we expect, and even the content we consume, we’ll start to expect a higher standard of personalisation from our WiFi providers. It remains to be seen just how intrusive these changes will feel, and how widespread, especially as GDPR and other societal shifts seek to protect privacy and confidentiality.
If you want to upgrade your WiFi ready for the latest technological innovations, or simply want to meet the demands of your workers, customers or students in the here and now, get in touch with us at Redway Networks today.
If you want to upgrade your WiFi ready for the latest technological innovations, or simply want to meet the demands of your workers, customers or students in the here and now, get in touch with us at Redway Networks today.
Whether you have a single or multi-site supply chain, there’s no denying that warehouses are a hive of activity, and a hub for manufacturing and logistics – and they’re getting busier and busier.
Hardware and software in the warehouse are both on a steep incline, but incorporating new technology into your network can compromise its performance. Often warehouses are having to attempt a balancing act between supporting these additional devices and applications, and minimising black-out spots, drop-offs and shrinking coverage.
As warehouse WiFi experts, we know how to achieve 100% coverage in these unique and challenging environments where machines, racking, picking devices and even the building itself can compromise your connectivity. This blog discusses some tips you can use to boost your warehouse WiFi coverage.
So how can you improve your warehouse WiFi coverage?
Conduct a WiFi site survey
Start by conducting a WiFi site survey to identify areas with weak signal coverage, interference sources, and dead zones. This survey helps determine the optimal placement of access points (APs) for better coverage and signal strength throughout the warehouse.
Upgrade to modern WiFi standards
Ensure that your WiFi infrastructure is based on the latest standards, such as 802.11ac or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6). These standards offer improved speed, capacity, and performance compared to older versions. Upgrading to newer access points and compatible client devices can significantly enhance WiFi performance.
Determine AP quantity – don’t overdo it!
When installing APs, you have to think about the size of your warehouse as well as the number of people working in it. Five people in a small warehouse can use one access point without any problem, as there will be enough bandwidth to go around. In a large warehouse, you’ll have to increase the number of APs in order to enjoy stable enterprise WiFi coverage.
Optimise AP placement, taking racking and electronics into consideration
Proper placement of access points is crucial for effective coverage. Consider the warehouse layout, building materials, and the specific needs of each area when determining the ideal placement of access points. Mirrors, walls, machines and metal racks can prevent network signals from reaching some parts for your warehouse. Position them strategically to minimise interference from physical obstacles and metal structures that are common in warehouse environments to improve signal flow.
Manage channel interference
Warehouse environments often have various sources of interference, including machinery, equipment, and neighbouring networks. To mitigate interference, use WiFi management tools to monitor and analyse channel usage. By selecting channels with less interference and adjusting channel widths, you can improve overall WiFi performance. If your router shares a channel with multiple WiFi devices, you may experience signal issues. Use a less crowded channel to extend your WiFi signal range.
Optimise network configuration
Fine-tuning network configurations can enhance performance. Adjust settings such as channel bandwidth, transmit power, data rates, and Quality of Service (QoS) parameters to optimize performance for the specific requirements of the warehouse environment. Consult the documentation provided by your WiFi equipment manufacturer for recommended settings.
Implement VLANs and network segmentation
Implementing VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) and network segmentation can help prioritise and manage network traffic effectively. Separate critical operations, such as inventory management or order processing, from general WiFi usage to ensure that essential tasks receive the necessary bandwidth and network resources.
Update firmware and software
Regularly update the firmware and software of your WiFi equipment to ensure you have the latest features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Keeping your devices up to date can help optimise performance and address any known issues.
Monitor and analyse performance
Utilise network monitoring and analysis tools to continuously monitor WiFi performance, identify bottlenecks, and troubleshoot issues proactively. These tools can provide insights into network traffic, signal strength, device connectivity, and potential performance bottlenecks, allowing you to make informed decisions for further optimisation. These are becoming increasingly automated through the use of APIs and cloud software, making productivity optimisation an effortless process.
Consider Professional Assistance
If optimising warehouse WiFi performance becomes challenging, consider consulting with a professional network engineer or WiFi specialist. They can perform a detailed analysis of your specific environment, recommend customised solutions, and assist in implementing best practices to maximise WiFi performance to boost warehouse efficiency.
Access to information has changed dramatically over the past 25 years thanks to the meteoric rise of the internet. On a smaller scale, a significant difference can even be observed over the last ten years, as homes, businesses and schools switched from dial-up internet access to the super-fast, reliable, wireless connection. As such, the generation of children that have been educated in schools in the post-WiFi revolution years have developed several key skills that their parents missed out on. These skills are often essential in the world of business today. They include:
Instant access to information, data and commentary available online helps children to compile and weigh up evidence, form their own opinions and ideas on subjects, and present these in an interesting and original way. Having this information at their fingertips means that during the course of a lesson a whole project consisting of research, development and presentation can be completed.
For children to explore and develop their own creative capacities, they need access to as many sources of inspiration as possible. Whether this comes from looking at mood boards for their design project, listening to music to inspire artwork, or watching an old Shakespeare production to decide how to play a lead character, fast internet enabled by WiFi can connect children with vast stores of free content.
In our increasingly technological world, jobs will exist in ten years’ time that we don’t yet understand, requiring skills we haven’t yet heard of. Children receiving an education today are used to the rapid advancements happening to technology and the internet. As a result, they develop useful skills such as coding, data analytics and UX design, all of which are invaluable in today’s global job market.
WiFi access in schools allows pupils to get stuck into their learning, and to develop important skills and competencies without hindrance. By creating a healthy, connected educational environment, schools allow their pupils to flourish in a way that previous generations didn’t have the chance to. With mobile devices, smart devices and WiFi access throughout the building, schools are able to provide children with all the necessary tools to reach their potential.
The entire world, it seems, is more connected than ever. You may have noticed more and more businesses offering customers free WiFi access. Businesses often even advertise the fact they provide free WiFi, why would they do this unless customers using their WiFi offered some benefits?
Well, offering customers free access to wireless networks does have its benefits. Here are just a few.
Free WiFi gives you direct access to your customers’attention which allows you to use their WiFi access as a potential branding opportunity. There are a number of ways you could do this, for example you could customise the home screen that is shown to customers whenever they log on to your network to show your latest offers.
Customers may want to use your free WiFi to check their email or look at the news, but while they navigate their phone’s browser you can be in control of any advertisements and branding that they see on your home pages. Offering things for free always attracts attention, attention that you can use to your advantage.
One of the most valuable things a customer has is time. So it’s important you do whatever you can to make sure you’re a business they want to spend more of their valuable time with. There are a number of different ways to do this, but a reliable way is to offer free WiFi.
Think of it, the longer they spend connected to your network browsing their phone, the longer they are in your premises and surrounded by what you have for sale. Use this time to advertise your current offers, and you’ll be surprised how effective it is at driving impulse purchases.
Another highly valuable and often overlooked customer resource is their data. Provided you do it in ethical, transparent, and fully legal ways, a customer using your free WiFi network can offer you an invaluable insight into their mindset and what they’re looking for.
See items they have browsed, questions about products they have asked in a search engine, and the sorts of things they’re thinking as they navigate your premises.
As technology becomes more efficient and affordable, much focus has now turned to how education WiFi systems can be best deployed in the classroom to aid in the development of students. But while a lot of attention has been given to how proposed Intelligent Classroom Management systems will benefit students, little has been said about how it will benefit teachers.
Here are just a few ways wireless Intelligent Classroom Management systems will improve the teaching experience.
More efficient communication
Lightspeed’s intelligent classroom management system ” Classroom” will allow a teacher to intuitively and easily check the workflow and progress of individual students, without the need to constantly circulate around the classroom. If a student is having a degree of trouble, the teacher can ask a simple question such as “Need help?” and receive a straightforward yes or no in reply. Students are much more likely to ask for help if it can be done subtly like this, without drawing the attention of their classmates. This allows teachers to better direct their attention to students who need it.
Check browsing history
Online classroom management will also allow teachers to keep a close eye on what students are looking at, either through being able to view the device screen in real time or to examine the student’s browsing history. This can all be recorded if necessary, to show to parents or school administrators. The knowledge that their entire browsing history can be recorded should mean students are less likely to let their attention wander from their work, meaning teachers should find it easier to maintain student concentration.
Overviews at a glance
For teachers, there is no longer a need to physically ask who has completed their work, who is still doing their work, and who might need help. It can all be easily logged and tracked through Lightspeed’s intelligent classroom management programme, which means that teachers are able to better divert their attention to students who actually require some help to complete their tasks. Teachers will also have quick and simple access to students’ real time activity on the screens they visit, which can help when composing term reports.
Redway Networks are proud to work alongside our latest partner Lightspeed Systems, who are the leading providers of classroom management and web filtering within the education sector.
We live in a world that seems to be moving at an ever-increasing rate, where the latest trends can come and go in the blink of an eye. Some things are more permanent, though, and WiFi is a technology that people have now come to expect.
It’s coming to a point now where customers see wireless internet not as an added bonus but rather as an essential, and are likely to rate establishments which do not offer it poorly. People want to be connected with the internet and if they can’t get free WiFi from one place, it’s very possible that they will search out another restaurant that provides it.
How restaurant WiFi can benefit you
Installing restaurant WiFi will increase your customer experience while also giving you the opportunity to use that free service in order to collect data about your customers. You can send them through a registration process, make them fill in a survey, or simply analyse the statistics of when it was most used.
Adding their e-mail to a mailing list, for example, can provide you with an excellent marketing opportunity, while your customers will be happy that they get to enjoy the free restaurant WiFi. It can be a win-win for both the business and the customer if used correctly.
A few words of warning
There are a few pieces of advice, however, which you must bear in mind. You’ll want to ensure that your business WiFi is separate from your customers’ WiFi. This is in large part due to a security issue, which is also why it’s a great idea to get a professional to install the right enterprise WiFi for you and your business. The experts will also be able to advise on the amount of bandwidth required as well as any other useful pieces of technical information.
Nowadays, the customer is as expectant of good service as they are of free WiFi. All businesses can only survive by keeping up with the times, and offering free restaurant WiFi is one vital part of that. It will keep your customers happy and coming back for more and in the meantime, you can use the data to advertise your restaurant and further increase your profits.
To find out more about how we can help establish a great connection in your restaurant, get in touch with us at Redway Networks today.