Suppose I'm planning an office or a restaurant or a city. I need to plan where I have wireless communication spots installed. Those may be WiFi spots or cell towers or DECT phone spots.

I've planned their locations so that the coverage is perfect. All "spots" have very neat unobstructive design.

I need to choose whether I install them such that they are visible (mount on walls or posts in open) or that they are concealed (mount them behind some screens that don't alter coverage).

The common sense is that all the equipment would better be concealed - looks neater.

Is there any reason to mount them in open so that they are visible?


No, it is not good idea, because:

  1. The equipment is rarely findable by users, even with blinking lams, especially in such dense and plural environment, as office and restaurants, not fields and forests :).
  2. The coverage of networks usually is greater than strait visibility of the area.
  3. The design of such equipment is hard to implement without visual imbalance in any interiors, and it's forms are rarely have enough affordance to straightly identify them with Wi-Fi or Cellphone network accessible.
  4. Final and most important note: People do usually search networks by using their devices for scanning and looking for typical signage (for instance, icons "wifi zone" at entrance doors).

So it is better to make good signage at good places (entrances), clear network names and other accessible options than to show ugly and rarely unfamiliar equipment in areas, that do not suppose to make it visible.

  • 2
    I would add that making equipment visible makes it a target for misappropriation to certain segments of the population – SeanC Feb 5 '13 at 16:37

As long as you know that you will have good coverage, I can't think of any advantage of them showing other than that an obstruction might impeed signal. If the coverage might be weak in parts of the area, then knowing where hotspots are located to sit closer can be nice. It also could be an interesting way to manipulate where people sit that are using the wifi if you have a mix of wifi and non-wifi customers, since wifi users are likely to sit closer to the hotspot if it is visible.

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