One of our clients that has a clinic in Plymouth recently needed a phone added to a workstation where the therapists have their computers. Currently they’re hosting Mitel 5330e VoIP handsets over a VPN back to AccessMedicine’s main office in Williamston, NC. So the only thing we really needed was PoE to power the phone, and an ethernet connection to connect it back to the main Mitel server in Williamston.
Due to the location of the desk, running cable would have been too difficult, if not impossible without severe modification – and not to mention there would have been ugly cable trace running along the entire room (a good 80ft worth if we went along the walls at the ceiling).
There were a couple other requirements that if we’d have run cable would have warranted putting in small switches in two locations. Since we couldn’t run cable, we decided to create a wireless uplink to the back desk. Even though we weren’t going to make a home run to this desk location, we still had to have physical ports available at the desk and the location where we would create the wireless uplink for a future phone or script printer.
We’ve installed the UniFi In-Wall AC’s before, but two ports would not be enough for future expansion. Ubiquiti recently came out with the In-Wall AC HD’s which have 4 ports on the bottom and wave 2 4×4 MIMO AC wireless.
Since we were planning on connecting a VoIP handset to the remote end of this wireless uplink, I wanted to make sure that there were plenty of MIMO links to both maintain the wireless uplink, and serve the wireless devices connected to the remote AP – that made the In-Wall HD even more perfect for this situation. Basically we put one In-Wall HD in a centralized location, about 60ft LOS from the back desk where we had existing cable back to the core switch, and one In-Wall HD mounted in the back desk — wireless uplinked the one at the back desk and plugged in our phone!
Unfortunately, the In-Wall HD requires 802.3at PoE to pass through 48v to the Mitel 5330e handset and power itself, we only had a couple of passive PoE injectors so we ended up using a 24v to power the AP and a 48v to power the handset – cleaned up all nice and tidy under the desk out of sight.
The cost of the In-Wall HD’s were quite a bit more expensive than the cost of the cable it would have taken to get there. But when you factor in the cost of a couple of UniFi Switches, and the amount of labor/time investment to do it the hard way, the client came out ahead. This was a super easy install, the AP’s adopted to the UniFi controller quickly and the wireless uplink took only a few minutes to create.
Testing the connection over the uplink showed an average of 2ms response time from the gateway router, plenty fast for VoIP, and now the therapists have 3 extra ports for another phone, printer, or wired desktop if they need it!
UniFi is such a powerful system, and we’re excited that we’re able to integrate tech like this for our clients at a price that would otherwise be unattainable from other vendors!