Dublin and WBA roll out smart city Wifi

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and City of Dublin have announced a successful proof-of-concept trial of smart city Wifi project OpenRoaming.

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 partnership says the success of the trial will pave the way for a larger city-wide deployment as part of Dublin’s smart city vision.

The capital city 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 per cent 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.

WBA OpenRoaming offers a single login which spares users from the need to constantly re-register or re-enter log-in credentials.

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.

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.”

Tiago Rodrigues, chief executive of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “Wi-Fi is the foundation for smart cities. This successful proof-of-concept trial shows 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.”

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