Oxford Brookes U beefs up WLAN to support explosion in demand for access

The UK university saw three conesecutive years of 100-percent-growth of mobile-device Internet access.

Wireless LAN equipment provider Aerohive Networks recently announced that its technology is being used at Oxford Brookes University in Southeast England, to support what the company describes as "runaway growth of student and staff mobile Internet devices." Oxford Brookes has more than 18,000 students and 2,500 staff members.

According to Aerohive, "During the past three years, Oxford Brookes has seen a 100-percent year-on-year growth in mobile Internet devices on the network, driven by a greater influx of smartphones, tablets and changing working and studying practices. With an average of 1,000 to 2,000 devices currently accessing the wireless LAN per day, exponential growth is expected to continue." The company adds that its system has the capacity to support 10,000 devices concurrently on the network. "Oxford Brookes' WLAN is now also part of the JANET Roaming Service (eduroam)," Aerohive notes, "a secure, worldwide roaming access service. Using 802.1x authentication, visitors, staff and students can securely access the wireless network of any institution that subscribes to eduroam, using their own log-in details."

Robin Breathe, chief technology officer for the university, commented, "Like other large universities, we are seeing demand for wireless connectivity increasing, but then so are expectations around coverage and speed. It has become so important for attracting new students each year. If you don't have wireless, you don't have students. In five years' time, it's possible that all our network access will be wireless. To sustain the tens of thousands of concurrent devices such a system would have to support in an environment like ours, Aerohive's architecture is the only way we could foresee achieving this."

Aerohive says that through its products and systems it "reduces the cost and complexity of today's networks with cloud-enabled, distributed WiFi and routing solutions for enterprises and medium-sized companies."

More in Wireless/5G