There are two different types of wireless sites surveys – active and predictive. In a predictive site survey a wireless site survey company will collect your floor plans and will produce a heat-map highlighting recommended access point locations and expected signal propagation throughout the facility. This is a quick fix site survey and is more of a sales tool rather than an actual report with meaningful information. Predictive site surveys are easy to produce as long as you have a floor plan and a recommended access point model.
Many companies try charging exorbitant fees for predictive site surveys and shame on them for doing so. Most wireless equipment distributors will provide free heat maps to any customer that provides a floor plan so it should raise immediate red flags for you if a wireless service provider is charging for a site survey but never actually sending anyone on-site. Our wireless site survey checklist will help you to be well prepared to negotiate with any provider.
Active site surveys are much more hands-on and always require on-site visits and expensive surveying equipment. The best wireless site survey tools are not just air checkers that tell you how many networks are broadcasting nearby – you can get that functionality from a free mobile app. A real wireless site survey should include a hefty report on wireless findings in your location as well as detailed recommendations about equipment models, configurations and your next steps.