AccessAgility Blog

Wireless / WiFi as a Service (WaaS) Introduction

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 19, 2017 5:44:13 PM / by Zaib Kaleem

Zaib Kaleem

When I first started in networking back in the late 1990s we called outsourced management of customer owned or leased equipment a managed network service (MNS). The scope of these MNS projects could range from just remote management and monitoring of routers to full turnkey design, installation, and management of all IT assets (routers, switches, servers, firewalls, etc.).

 

Need Help with Your WiFi?

 

The buzzword today for this type of service related to WiFi only is WaaS or WiFi as a Service / Wireless as a Service. We have seen interest from organizations that have no existing WiFi network and from organizations that have an existing or official WiFi network but are looking for a managed solution for a guest Internet only WiFi network.

 

The table below summarizes the services covered under a fully managed model versus other offerings. The orange colored text in each column indicates the responsibility of the managed service provider while the white indicates the customer's responsibility. As you move from left to right the customer takes on a large share of the work for a reduced cost for services.

 

WiFi As A Service Managed WiFi Managed WiFi Install WiFi Engineering WiFi Design WiFi Equipment Sales
WiFi Design WiFi Design WiFi Design WiFi Design WiFi Design WiFi Design
Pre-install Survey Pre-install Survey Pre-install Survey Pre-install Survey Pre-install Survey Pre-install Survey
Project management Project management Project management Post install Survey WiFi Equipment / Software WiFi Equipment / Software
Installation Installation Installation WiFi Equipment / Software Post install Survey Post install Survey
Post install Survey Post install Survey Post install Survey Installation Installation Installation
Operate / management Operate / management WiFi Equipment / Software Project management Project management Project management
WiFi Equipment / Software WiFi Equipment / Software Operate / management Operate / management Operate / management Operate / management
Internet Connection Internet Connection Internet Connection Internet Connection Internet Connection Internet Connection

 

The focus of this blog post will be the guest Internet wireless network solution because it tends to be similar for almost all organizations. Listed below are components and services that are involved in these solutions.

 


Internet Service

The Internet service can be air gapped / separate from the organizations existing Internet service or can be a shared Internet service that is logically separated from the organizations official network using network equipment configuration settings.

 


Access Points

The type and quantity of access points can vary widely based on the size of the location/ venue, number of guests expected and the types of applications they will be using.

How to Estimate Number of Access Points Needed 

 


Design Services

To determine the location, antenna types, and configuration settings of equipment a design phase is needed that can be very simple or complex based on exact requirements of the project.

WiFi Design Guide 

Tips for Proper Wireless Access Point Placement

 


Implementation

The implementation process involves all activities needed to make the network operational. The core activities are cabling, access point installation, and integration of Internet service and WiFi network.

 


Support

In many cases organizational prefer to outsource end user/guest support to a third party so that internal IT staff are not overloaded with basic support help on how to connect to the WiFi or other guest user issues.

Perform a WiFi Health Check Survey

 


Cost

Billing for WaaS solutions can vary from a large upfront charge to cover for initial equipment and implementation services and then a monthly fee to cover ongoing management of network and end user support to a larger monthly fee that covers the cost of implementation spread out over the life of the contracted solution.

WiFi as a Service Pricing

 

Topics: WiFi as a Service, Managed WiFi, Wireless Network

Zaib Kaleem

Written by Zaib Kaleem