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NETGEAR Business Helps Propel Projects in Need of Sophisticated Wi-Fi Designs

NETGEAR has always been in the market of Wi-Fi. The company has long had a consumer home product division with great Wi-Fi products. But the NETGEAR Business division has even more to offer.

“What a lot of people don’t know is we’ve been in the business space for years and years. About six years ago, we developed a team called the Pro AV Design Team. They specifically work on pro AV projects. My colleagues — we’ve all worked in the Wi-Fi space for a long time, so we decided that we should develop this Pro Wi-Fi Design team,” explains NETGEAR Sr. Systems Engineer Keith Nielsen.

It’s very similar to the pro AV design team, he says, but their mandate and what they do work in is more is directed toward building reliable Wi-Fi in any area — high-end residential use, business use, larger business use.

“What we bring to the table is a brand-new set of tools that help us to create pre-built home designs. That allows us to take a blueprint of a building, put it into some sophisticated electronic tools that we have and come up with a Wi-Fi heat map,” Nielsen notes.

“Those heat maps tell us how much product they need and what types of product, and we can integrate that with PoE switches, routers, and access points. That can be done for a larger-scale home, a small business, a large business… anything that we need to do.”

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He states that the team has grown dramatically since its inception about two years ago for pro Wi-Fi design. “And we do hundreds of these designs on a weekly basis. We take them and develop them into working models of what the customer needs,” Nielsen notes.

The company has been able to discern accuracy. How accurate is its model versus what actually happens in the field when they deploy it? “So we’ve developed a way to not only do the design, but proven tested, and we know that the outcome will be right around between 95% and 97% accuracy, which is great,” Nielsen says.

VARs Relationship Fosters Project Prospects

NETGEAR Business’s primary customers are in the VAR (value-added reseller) channel. “For the most part they will bring us the designs and then we create the heat mapping. We get them back, and the reporting is like a 37-page report,” Nielsen notes. “So, lots and lots of detail about what they’re doing and then they can take it back to their customer and use it as a means to help the customer see what their actual needs are, and how they’re going to implement it, deploy it in the building, the home, whatever.”

Sometimes the cost is quite prohibitive to use the tools that NETGEAR has access to and uses on a regular basis, Nielsen comments.

“We can offer it as a free service value-add where they can use our expertise and our ability to give them back a product that they can actually use with their customer and help show them [the design],” he says. “And further the deployment and the development of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi businesses. As far as what details NETGEAR Business needs to calculate the specs and spit out a design, Nielsen says a simple floor plan, a complete blueprint, a bird’s eye view top down if it’s one story and something hopefully to scale.

“If they’ve got so many inches from the door, be able to show us some type of scale. We just need two points of measurement. If we know the distance across the door frame, which is generally 36 inches, or if we know the distance of the entire factory, maybe 300 feet,” he explains.

“Then we can scale that out. It just needs to be in a JPEG or PDF format. Very simple.” They can input the data directly into the design program and begin drawing walls and attenuation areas, Nielsen adds.

“What these areas do is they modify how the Wi-Fi reacts,” he says. “For instance, the concrete wall has an attenuation of around -18dB, and the decibel level for the signal won’t penetrate through the wall because of how much it is dampened.”

Whereas if you have, for instance, drywall that measures-3dB, it’s hampered just a little bit, but there is generally good passthrough for the Wi-Fi. Whatever the project’s Wi-Fi needs, NETGEAR Business has its all-star Pro Wi-Fi Design team ready to take the field.

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