Cell and Wifi Service - Information Systems & Technology

Cell and Wifi Service
Bruce Campbell
Director, Network Services
Information Systems and Technology
January 18, 2011
Cell Service
• Generally, responsibility left to providers (e.g.
Bell, Rogers). Minimal involvement from UW
so far.
• Boosters installed in a few locations (MC first
floor, RCH 101)
• RFP for pilot project “Distributed Antenna
System” for MKV residence issued. See
October 20, 2010 Daily Bulletin
• Wifi offered in all UW buildings, except some
College residences.
• Aruba Networks system.
• Approximately 1,000 Access Points (APs) in main
campus buildings, and 600 APs in Housing
• New buildings (e.g. E5) are a/b/g/n
• Residences are a/b/g
• Most campus buildings are b/g
Coverage Planning
• By square foot, for low density areas (offices)
– e.g. 1 AP per 6,000 square foot is about minimum
• By user, for high density areas (common areas)
– e.g. 1 AP per 10-20 people provides basic service.
• Most areas of campus were done based on
square foot, before wifi was popular (years
ago). (6000 square feet per AP)
• Residence deployment based on people,
approx 1 AP per 10 residents.
Some Coverage Problem Areas
• Libraries, during exams
• Large lecture rooms
• Math lounge
• Approximately 400 APs have been added on
main campus in past two years. (includes new
• Upgrading DC, LIB and SLC to a/b/g/n (from
b/g) (100 APs, on order)
• 4 new a/b/g/n APs for Math C&D and lounge
• 2 new a/b/g/n APs for MC 1085 (class room)
Lecture Rooms
• Most lecture rooms will not support all seats active on wifi.
• Design challenge:
1 AP per 20 people
Example lecture room 40’x60’ = 2400 square feet, 160 seats.
8 APs in 2400 square feet = 300 square feet per AP
Far less than general minimum of 2000 square feet per b/g AP.
Requires many channels or very low power settings, and APs
close to users (under desks)
• In PHR 1004 (160 seats) we installed 6 b/g APs, and it is
adequate for light use by fewer than full 160 people.
• Cost of conduit, APs, cabling, for large lecture rooms is
about $50/seat ($1000 for conduit, cabling, plus AP, serves
20 people). E.g. 700 seats = $35,000
• Still trying to catch up with demand.
• Still somewhat reactive. We address issues after
the fact.
• Some proactive monitoring with tools. Identifies
high density areas.
• IST Client Services co-op student visits areas of
campus and reports real world experience.
• Planning to deploy an online forum to allow users
to share experience, knowledge about specific
devices. Allows IST to pick up on sources of
frustration, problem areas.
• Useable at participating institutions
• Data is encrypted
• uw-wireless subject to session hijacking for
non https sites (e.g. facebook)
• eduroam easier to use for modern operating
• Old operating systems and some devices have

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