Different Ways of Accessing wireless Network
There is a lot of documentation on wireless design for indoor Campus Wi-Fi networks for schools. Matter of fact, you’ll find a lot of great content right here on the SecurEdge blog that provides detailed guidance on what features you’ll need to successfully support the modern K-12 environment.
But today I want to talk about something that has come up a lot in recent weeks for larger school systems whose enrollment at each school can change rapidly from year to year. Many school systems today have a growing number of mobile classrooms. Some refer them as “pods”, they’re essentially a modular classroom that can be put up relatively cheaply and moved around from school to school to adjust for the enrollment spikes.
The challenge for IT management is that the parents and school administrators expect that Wi-Fi and network access should be the same inside the mobile classrooms as it is inside the main school building. But connecting these classroom trailers are not like connecting inside the school’s main campus WLAN.
Trenching fiber to mobile classrooms is extremely expensive in the short term as well a potential waste of money considering these classrooms are built to be mobile. Wireless networking for these classrooms seems to make a lot more sense financially. Operationally, wireless has advantages as well, like the ability to put up connections quickly to extend services on the fly. However, Mobile units can require a different type of wireless technology than a school’s campus WLAN.
There’s a heck of a lot of wireless options available out there. And the answer to which one your school should use is dependent on what your needs are of course. So what type of outdoor wireless network technology should you use to extend networking to Mobile Classrooms? Here’s a quick down and dirty overview so that you can determine which options are best for your school.
Mobile Classroom Wireless Solution #1: Wireless Bridge
You can literally think of a wireless bridge as simply extending a cable through the air. It works in a point to point type of design and a point to multi-point design. With most multi-point wireless bridge systems you can connect 2-3 mobile classrooms to the main school building.
Example #1: Pt. to Pt. Wireless Bridge
Example #2: Pt. to Multi-Point Wireless Bridge
Pros: These bridges can range from slow to fast speeds and are the cheapest of all the options. They can be installed quickly and removed quickly.