My passion for 802.11 started back in 2003 when we installed an 11b access point in our student house so we could share the blistering 512kbps adsl connection. Every other student house was running ethernet cables all over the place, which do not mix with drunk people! Plus we were cleverer than them.
In that same year I chose to write my university dissertation on the feasibility of providing free WiFi access to commuters at a regional UK airport in order to increase passenger numbers. Companies weren’t even providing WiFi access back then, let alone free access to add value to their businesses, so I like to think I’m singlehandedly responsible for the commonplace of free WiFi services that we all “enjoy” today (hah).
From university my career started at a small UK distributor of barcoding (AIDC) equipment as their in-house IT admin and pre-sales technical expert. The latter role had me selling, designing, installing and supporting small 802.11 networks in warehouse and manufacturing environments.
From there I moved to my current position as an implementation engineer at a vendor of a small wireless voice client. My favourite part of the deployment cycle has me assessing our customers wireless networks to ensure they are capable of supporting robust voice communication with a focus on smooth roaming.
Both these roles have been vendor neutral focusing on good design and configuration more than any one vendors technology or features. To me the three most important factors to good WiFi are AP placement, Power Levels and Data Rates, all of which having nothing to do with the fancy bells and whistles wireless vendors marketing teams love to shout about.
Throughout my career I’ve held many entry level wireless qualifications starting with Cisco’s CWLANFE back in 2005 to the CWAP in 2018. I continue to work towards a CWNE and CCIE qualification.