13-May-2019

City wifi networks handle a lot of device connections, which can affect speed. Here’s how to make public wifi faster.

People have become used to the fast rate at which technology is evolving, they don’t want to deal with anything below the standard. Wi-Fi today is speedy and people can access all sorts of information online in a matter of seconds. People have grown to have high Wi-Fi standards, and a page not loading fast enough should be a thing of the past.

Reliable and fast Wi-Fi is a key requirement from citizens, tourists and workers alike. Governments - just like businesses - are striving to keep the pace in connectivity standards, to make their citizens and clients satisfied. 

There are additional issues that city Wi-Fi networks can suffer from. Some may include pressure and repercussions from all the mobile and IoT connections, which may ultimately affect performance. Here, at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, we have considered how you can build a public network that can offer fast Wi-Fi AND an excellent user experience!

Key Features – Don’t Wi-Fi without them

Here are some key features to consider for making public Wi-Fi faster:

Performance

People experience high-speed Wi-Fi at home and expect it to be the same anywhere they go. How can public Wi-Fi meet that type of performance? A tip that can help city providers is to understand people’s needs and expectations by conducting a survey. And consider that you will be serving high density areas for both users and number of devices.

Keep in mind that the Wi-Fi equipment will have different requirements depending on whether the space for improvement is indoor or outdoor. Outdoor wifi equipment will need to resist potentially harsh environments, while indoor offer a less expensive version.

Go for the Excellent User Experience

Digital engagement image for blog post

Before you start implementing Wi-Fi in your city, there are some crucial questions to think about. They should all be considered during the design stage. First, what type of Wi-Fi would you like to offer people in your city? Think of the different levels of Wi-Fi coverage, who will be able to access it and what type of experience do your consumers expect?

For example, you can give people Wi-Fi access, but only for a certain limited of time so that it doesn’t slow down the network. In addition, you can choose where people will be able to access it and stream videos – in touristy spots? Downtown? Finally, how would you like users to connect? They could connect as a guest, or through a captive portal that allows users to register for and authenticate to the municipal Wi-Fi service.

Scalability and Connectivity from Everywhere

Municipal Wi-Fi must scale up and down. Some locations may require hundreds of Access Points whilst other locations may require only a single AP. The solution must not be constrained by scalability. Thousands of AP’s can be managed from a single pane of glass. Without hardware controllers, the solution can scale from one to thousands of AP’s without the capacity constraints and costs of controllers. Read more about scalability in our Smart City Network Solution Guide.

Highway traffic time-delay image for blog post

Future readiness

Public wifi needs to respect the latest standards such as Wi-Fi 6 and the next gen wireless network standards and rapidly adapt to standard evolutions.

Remember that citizens, tourists, and government employees love being connected anywhere they go. Who doesn’t? This can play a really big role in making a city more attractive for tourists or business and may also increase the amount of conventions and exhibitions brought to the city.

Our OmniAccess Stellar WLAN solution provides a reliable, secure and high-performance public Wi-Fi solution. Its next-generation access points deliver enterprise-grade connectivity, with operational simplicity and manageability. Its distributed controller architecture avoids single points of failure and ensures optimal performance. It was made to be affordable, due to its simple management features and built-in intelligent capabilities, including secure web management portal and smart load-balancing.

Read the next blog in the Public wifi series: 
How to make public wifi secure.

Tags - Mobile Campus, WLAN, Government, Mobile Communications

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About the author
David Fortini blog author picture

David Fortini

Director of Business Development, Government


Dave is currently the Director of Business Development for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s Network Division. He is responsible for the business development of ALE’s Government Vertical associated with their Enterprise Network Portfolio. 

David is a Computer Science graduate of Pennsylvania State University and also possesses a Masters in Computer Science at George Mason University. He also has a Master Certificate in Information Technology Project Management from George Washington University.

 

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