The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health) is reporting wireless connectivity improvements after recently wrapping up campuswide efforts to extend and strengthen its Wi-Fi signal.

In order to determine where exactly the campus had the most issues with wireless service, the university fielded a campuswide survey. After wrapping up the project, the school then used a survey to determine whether the project was successful. Overwhelmingly, the survey found a reduction in connectivity problems and increased satisfaction with network performance.

The school used its initial survey to help guide the upgrades and installation process. From the survey, UT Health learned that large classrooms with voluminous network use reported the most issues. Using that information, the installation team mobilized to reconfigure and test those specific areas.

“This is a first for me on a new install,” said Yeman Collier, vice president and chief information officer at UT Health San Antonio. “We’re using real-time feedback to configure and tune a Wi-Fi environment by location.”

As part of the improvement efforts, UT Health upgraded the cellular network to 5G, modernized audiovisual equipment, and installed more than 300 new Wi-Fi access points throughout the campus, among other infrastructure improvements.

In a press release, the school detailed a test case from a large lab session on the campus. In one lab classroom, more than 270 students were using the network, with an average of 3.7 devices per student (laptops, phones, smart watches, tablets, etc.). The school used real-time scanning for usage and performance, which showed large volumes of concurrent data transfer during the lab session.

Previously, this was a scenario that made the old system vulnerable to performance issues. But Collier said that following a targeted reconfiguration informed by survey feedback, “the new Wi-Fi solution barely broke a sweat.” The survey feedback received after the session underscored the improvement, with a 92 percent reduction in reported issues in that location compared to previous weeks, he noted.


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