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WiFi Isn't Always the Answer

Iron II
Iron II

Chalk this one up to lessons learned. I spent a lot of time and resources improving the wireless network throughout the campus at my previous company. However, WIFi isn't always the answer. A "softphone" app that operates over WiFi isn't dependable enough as supervisors walked the plant floor. We needed to extend cellular signals, but the solution wasn't immediately obvious.

Our buildings were located in a "dead zone" between two cellular towers. It was a rural area and we just couldn't count on providers building out additional infrastructure, and there's really only one game in town for coverage in rural America. Having metal buildings was another hiccup and it took time to realize that signals were only "strong" when garage doors were opened. Who'd have imagined?

A friend suggested that we reach out to the carrier, and we made progress without any cost to our organization. We ended up having a microcell installed that ran off of our internet connection, but it was powerful enough to provide better cellular coverage. The primary lesson that I learned was to think outside of the box. I also learned that priorities change when factors change.

I shared another post about how a priority matrix helped my department to organize and approach our work systematically. Cellular coverage ended up being a high priority project when the price lowered and we fully appreciate its impact on supervisors. The microcell success came at a time when we were first adopting the priority system, and it taught me to appreciate it.