The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and City of Dublin has announced a proof-of-concept trial of OpenRoaming™ in Dublin, Ireland. Initially deployed at Bernardo Square, Dame Street and the City Council’s Amphitheatre, WBA OpenRoaming enables residents and visitors to log in only once and then maintain seamless connectivity as their smartphones, tablets and other Wi-Fi devices automatically switch between different public Wi-Fi hotspots. The success of the trial will pave the way for a larger city-wide deployment.
Dublin is a high growth city. It currently has a population in the Greater Dublin Area of around 2.02 million and is anticipated to grow to 2.2 million by 2031. It houses 30% of the country’s working population and attracts over 6.6 million overseas visitors a year. It is anticipated that OpenRoaming will be initially rolled out on over 150 AP’s across Dublin city.
Now available at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, WBA OpenRoaming frees users from the need to constantly re-register or re-enter log-in credentials — all while maintaining enterprise-grade security and privacy. The WBA OpenRoaming standard also enables enterprises, device OEMs, service providers and others to provide performance guarantees and — with Wi-Fi 6 and 6E— a carrier-grade experience as users roam between different public Wi-Fi venues.
The trial, initiated by Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin programme and supported by the WBA and Virgin Media, also involved participation from CommScope and represents a key a milestone toward achieving Dublin’s smart city goals, which include:
· Providing communities, residents and businesses with seamless access to services online, as well as high-quality connectivity
· Giving tourists and other visitors free, secure, high-performance Wi-Fi access. Once they arrive and log on to an OpenRoaming-enabled hotspot, their device is automatically authenticated for use every time it switches to another OpenRoaming-enabled hotspot. This convenience makes it easier for them to find what they need, such as restaurant recommendations, transit schedules, directions and more.
· This seamless, secure experience ensures that they have the broadband connectivity they need for interactive immersive learning, research, hybrid study and more.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “Wi-Fi is the foundation for smart cities. This successful proof-of-concept trial shows that that the City of Dublin and its residents, businesses and visitors all can depend on the WBA OpenRoaming standard to ensure that they always have convenient access to seamless, secure, carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity.”
Jamie Cudden, Smart City Lead, for the City of Dublin, said: “Dublin is at the forefront of a digital transformation that is serving as a model for other municipalities across Ireland and the world. Collaborations like this are key to the delivery of convenient, reliable and ubiquitous connectivity which is critical for achieving our smart city goals such as closing the digital divide and ensuring that government is responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses. This successful trial of WBA OpenRoaming is a milestone toward achieving all those goals.”
Bart Giordano, SVP Ruckus Networks, CommScope, said: “”As a founding partner in the OpenRoaming framework, we are pleased to announce with the WBA the successful launch of the OpenRoaming initiative and network for the City of Dublin. OpenRoaming brings the promise of seamless and secure connectivity to users and IoT devices all over the world. The core elements of OpenRoaming are in line with those of the Ruckus Network portfolio: cloud federation, cybersecurity, policy and automation. We look forward to expanding the City of Dublin’s network and capabilities and supporting OpenRoaming deployments worldwide. ”
Aidan Darcy, VP Business & Wholesale at Virgin Media Ireland said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Dublin City Council on such an important initiative. Given the fact that we are the official provider of both the Wi-Fi and broadband infrastructure, we are able to offer cutting-edge broadband speeds and an exceptional Wi-Fi experience for residents and tourists availing of the new Dublin City Wi-Fi Zones. We’re passionate about connecting communities and, with this new initiative, we really feel we’ll be creating connections for good.”
Launched in May 2020, WBA OpenRoaming is now in Release 3, which will make the business and commercial aspects of roaming easier than ever before and importantly, cut back on hundreds of hours of legal and administrative time when establishing roaming settlement agreements.