Wifi network in big areas


Wifi network in big areas

Hi all,

I have to implement a wifi network in a small village (about 4km lenght for 1km width).

I receive the signal with wimax and potentially about 2.000 people could connect.

My main goal is to create a solid network, with good signal in all the areas, permitting people to move from a point to another without disconnecting.

At the moment the network is very bad and there are about 150 ap.

Anyone has any proposal about the solution to adopt (devices to use, how to connect sub networks, etc)?

Thanks very much.

4 Replies 4
Meraki Employee
Meraki Employee

Hey @max10!

Thanks for reaching out!

I would say first and foremost, start with a site survey. The value of this can't be highlighted enough.

Performing an active wireless site survey is a critical for deploying a high-density wireless network and helps to evaluate the RF propagation in the actual physical environment. The active site survey also gives you the ability to actively transmit data and get data rate coverage in addition to the real-world range.


In addition to verifying the RF propagation in the actual environment, it is also recommended to have a spectrum analysis done as part of the site survey in order to locate any potential sources of RF interference and take steps to remediate them. Site surveys and spectrum analysis are typically performed using professional grade toolkits such as Ekahau Site Survey or Fluke Networks Airmagnet. Ensure a minimum of 25 dB SNR throughout the desired coverage area. Remember to survey for adequate coverage on 5GHz channels, not just 2.4 GHz, to ensure there are no coverage holes or gaps. Depending on how big the space is and the number of access points deployed, there may be a need to selectively turn off some of the 2.4GHz radios on some of the access points to avoid excessive co-channel interference between all the access points.

Some other things to ponder:

  • Video streaming requires 3 Mbps for HD quality video... will you even allow that? 
  • What type of traffic WILL you allow?
  • A network this dense should only be configured to use 20MHz channels
  • Challenging outdoor mounting locations / directional antennas / etc
  • Wifi Cell overlap should be 15-20% for voice/video services and 5-10% for just basic data usage 

All of those above however, will require a site survey to validate/deploy as well! 
So, I would definitely work with a partner or some of the site survey tools mentioned above!


Good luck!

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Adding to @Paul_H comment, I think I would start by defining what is acceptable - what would success look like?


For example, would success be having a minimum of 11Mb/s everywhere, or perhaps more generally a "speedtest" result of x Mb/s.

Perhaps it might be able to just "connect" at 2Mb/s.


Once you have that info, you'll be able to use the design to determine the number of APs and where to place them.


I would have thought 150 APs would be plenty for this size area.


How big is your WiMax circuit?  With 2,000 people connected it needs to be pretty big.  If you allowed an average of just 2Mb/s per user you would need 4Gb/s of bandwidth.


Avoid using MESH as much as possible.  Run cables to each AP where possible.


Hello guys and thanks for your replies.

I try to explain better the situation.


The project is related to a resort in a country not well served with Internet, so at the moment maybe the best technology with a good price/quality ratio is the wimax.



We have a central room where arrives the signal with a wimax antenna. 

There are some points, about 20 in the resort, where arrive fiber cables. These point are used to reach different building/office with fiber/utp cables. These points are not connected all with the central room, but for example a point is connected directed with the central room and from these we reach other 5 points.

So the wired network already cover in a good way the big area and is used for wired network in the offices and for security camera network. The logical network obviously are different.

The problem of the current wifi network is that these access points are all connected by means of twisted pairs (telephone cables), moreover many of them are broken. Adding a slow badwidth and other bad things, the wifi network is awful.

This is because it has been designed more or less 10-20 years ago and the maintenance is absent.



I want to design a new network, starting if possible from a test area, until covering the entire resort.

Now I can say terrible things because I don't know the matter, so please ignore this in that case. 😄

My idea is to use the points served by means of fiber/utp cables for example to connect routers and create sub networks. Eccept these about 20 routers, I want to connect all the other devices without cables and if possible avoid them as mush as possible. I would develop each of these networking using technologies like mesh, antennas (closed to the routers), etc.


Potentially could be 2000/4000 people that could connect by means of wifi (clients and employees), but it doesn't mean that everyone has to navigate with a high speed. This is because there is the limit about the starting bandwidth with wimax and I don't know until how many Mbps we can arrive. Except the connection speed, I would know how to design correctly the network to have a good wifi connection (stable and all around the resort), considering that there are limits that we can't overcome.


I hope to have been more clear and sorry for not corrects things I should have said.


Getting noticed

A layout/map of the area with buildings would be helpful to look at

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