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Channel Overlap

Channel Overlap

I tackle the topic of channel overlap in wireless. Some people may refer to this as co-channel interference. Others use the term co-channel cooperation or even co-channel contention. The latter of the two are more accurate terms to use.

But first, lets talk about what channel overlap is. I’m referring to two or more access points providing service for the same area on the same channel.

Why is this a big deal? When two or more access points hear each other on the same channel it becomes the capacity of one access point. This is because of the contention the access points must face when vying for air time. It creates more overhead which leads to lower throughput and more latency.

What are some ways to mitigate channel overlap?

The only ways to mitigate channel overlap involve proper planning which includes a good channel re-use plan, pre-deployment surveys to determine what channels are already in use in your deployment area, and a validation survey to verify any channel overlap.

In addition to the above steps, some other ways to mitigate channel overlap include:

  • Turning off 2.4 GHz radios
  • Use directional antennas
  • Use 20 MHz channel widths

Listen to the episode and let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.

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Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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  • Third child and I feel you. Other tech guys around me have no idea how the brain loses function without enough sleep or naps. Anyway, I’m learning to be a wireless engineer and so far I’m a fan.

    • It’s definitely a challenge but it shows how important time management and rest is.

      Thanks for listening to the podcast. Glad the podcast can be helpful to others.

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