The WLAN must specific applications defined in the requirements, and to do so, it must be capable of passing a variety of tests. Association Tests Make sure that each of the client device types will associate with at least one or more access points that are part of the installed system. This is an initial test to see whether the client devices can establish a wireless connection, which primarily involves the 802.11 protocols and any vendor-specific enhancements. Confirm sufficient associations before moving on with other testing. This is important because sometimes client device radios are not fully compatible with the access points, even though they both comply with 802.11n. If you do not ensure that the client devices have stable associations, other performance tests may indicate erratic and inaccurate results.

For example, with a wireless IP phone implementation, the phone should have an indicator that confirms that association has been made. Power up the phone and check whether the phone indicates an association. If the phone will not associate with an access point, recheck the phone configuration, especially the service set identifier (SSID), authentication type, and security password. These parameters must match those configured on the access point for association to be successful. Also, ensure that you are operating the phone in an area where signal coverage exists. You can generally do this by observing the signal status on the phone. When performing an association test, connect the client device to an access point and monitor the connection for at least 10 minutes. In some cases, the client device may initially associate with an access point without any issues, but it might inadvertently disassociate after a few minutes. If problems occur, research similar problems regarding the types of client radios and access points that you are using, and upgrade the firmware if necessary to fix the problem. Sometimes you must upgrade the firmware in the client device radios, access points, or both, for the association process to work effectively.

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