This Telecommunications Systems Bulletin  provides guidelines on the topology, design, installation, and testing of cabling systems intended to support wireless local area networks (WLANs), including the pathways and spaces to support the cabling and wireless access points (WAPs).

TSB-162-A “Telecommunications Cabling Guidelines for Wireless Access Points” was developed by the TIA TR-42.1 Commercial Building Cabling Subcommittee and published in November, 2013.  Significant changes from the previous edition include:

  • Category 6A balanced twisted-pair cabling or OM3 optical fiber cabling is recommended for support of WLANs
  • Information on using link aggregation (the use of multiple equipment outlets (EOs) for a single access point) to support greater than 1 Gbps Wi-Fi transmission rates and/or increased power requirements was added
  • Maximum link length calculations were modified to account for different equipment cord types
  • Information on wireless access point mounting options was added
  • Information on physical security for wireless access points was added

TSB-162-A Content

  • Equipment Outlet Locations
  • Remote Antennas
  • Power Options
  • Cabling to Wireless Access Point
  • Pathways and Spaces
  • Administration and Labeling
  • Mounting and Installation
  • Performance and Testing Guidelines
  • Annexes addressing Wireless Access Point Physical Security Options and Bibliography
Equipment Outlet (EO) Placement

It is recommended that a grid of square cells be used when designing coverage areas.   An EO (or multiple EOs if link aggregation is being supported) is placed at the center of each cell and an equipment cord connects the EO to a WAP located anywhere within the same cell.  The maximum length of this equipment cord is the radius of the circle that circumscribes the square cell.  It may be beneficial to offset the cells in the horizontal plane on alternating floors to afford better coverage.

Typical Uniform Grid Size

In many cases, a grid of square cells will be distributed uniformly throughout the building.  Based on the typical coverage area of currently available wireless access points and common commercial building layouts, a pre-cabled grid with 18.3 m (60 ft) square cells is recommended.  This results in a cell radius (R) of 13 m (42 ft).

Typical Uniform Coverage Area Grid Pattern

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