How many VoIP calls will your WiFi Access Point Support?
Matthew Gast, a friend of mine whom wrote the book on WiFi, wrote a very interesting article that asks the musical question: How Many Voice Callers Fit on the Head of an Access Point?.
In order to do this analysis, there are a lot of details you must consider. I don’t personally know anyone who knows these details better. A little technical for some of my readers, but there are some pretty graphs with hard numbers if your eyes glaze over. A very good report to read and understand if you’re considering doing any large-scale WiFi over VoIP deployments.
It also raises an important question in my mind: how do you do a large-scale deployment of VoIP over WiFi and actually have it work well? It seems to me that in a large office environment, VoIP over WiFi could be problematic. You know how when you’re on a cell phone driving along the highway chatting away with whomever, and then suddenly, you drop the call for no discernable reason? That’s what happens when you drive toward an area that has too many people on their cell phones. There’s no capacity on the tower you’re driving towards and you are driving away from the tower you’re on. By deploying VoIP over WiFi on a large corporate campus, and having everyone use it, you are inviting that same annoying phenomenon into your office, especially if non-voice data is in contention with that same WiFi bandwidth.