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Extreme Networks and Wireless Broadband Alliance Deliver OpenRoaming Connectivity

Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV) Campus to Benefit from Secure and Seamless Handoff Between Wi-Fi and Cellular Networks

Expanding Roster of Enterprises and Service Providers Leverage Extreme to Enable Wi-Fi and 4G/5G Cellular Handoff

Extreme Networks Inc. (EXTR), a cloud-driven networking company, announced it has successfully implemented support of Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) OpenRoaming™ at the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV) in Portugal. OpenRoaming enables students, teachers, and other users on IPV’s campus to connect to a high-speed, secure, carrier-grade Wi-Fi 6 network wherever they are, indoors and outdoors, without experiencing disruption to their wireless network connection. IPV is the first organization in Portugal to participate in WBA OpenRoaming.

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In addition to OpenRoaming, Extreme has led the market in Wi-Fi carrier offload for 4G and 5G networks. In February of 2020, the company partnered with Verizon to create “smart stadium” technology at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Verizon’s wireless network was linked to ExtremeWireless™ Wi-Fi access points and ExtremeAnalytics™ software, providing seamless connectivity and authentication for fans in and around the stadium. Extreme currently offers RADSec and carrier offload with all major wireless carriers in the U.S.

WBA OpenRoaming delivers seamless handoff from any number of cellular networks to Wi-Fi, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity for users much like how smartphones connect instantly to various telecommunications networks. Extreme worked with Aptilo Networks to bring OpenRoaming to IPV’s campus alongside a Wi-Fi 6 network deployment. Now, students, staff, and visitors can connect to the IPV campus network without requiring manual authentication. This results in better experiences for users and a reduced workload for IPV’s IT team, who previously had to manually authorize every network user from outside of Viseu to access on-campus Wi-Fi.

Key Benefits:

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  • Simplified connectivity for users and reduced demands on IT: Previously, European regulations forced IPV’s IT team to add and remove network users manually, including staff members and students, making it complicated to access Wi-Fi on campus. With OpenRoaming, students and staff on IPV’s campuses can easily connect to the wireless network without losing account settings or history, and the IT team can focus on furthering the use of technology across the IPV campus.
  • Improved student outcomes and opportunities: OpenRoaming simplifies IPV’s ability to expand programming and bring new events to campus, without requiring the IT team to set up secure network access each time. They can provision different levels of service for different users and events depending on specific needs. IPV’s student base can now access resources through the same user account across all their devices on IPV’s campus without paying for a broadband connection or setting up a new account.  
  • Increased wireless network security: IPV and similar organizations can benefit from the freedom of OpenRoaming without opening themselves to potential security risks or failing to comply with local regulations. OpenRoaming leverages existing security protocols such as Passpoint, RADSec, and standards 802.1x and 802.11i to ensure network security without compromising user privacy. It pairs Wi-Fi network providers with identity providers, such as mobile operators and ISPs, who register authenticated users and enable them to connect to any participating wireless network automatically.

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Executive Perspectives:

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance 
“OpenRoaming is key in delivering seamless, secure access to Wi-Fi, which is a necessity for modern higher education institutions like IPV that seek to provide students with the best possible resources for learning. WBA members like Extreme are helping deliver reliable, high-speed connectivity around the globe and we are proud to support them as our world becomes more reliant on wireless networks.”

Luís Almeida, Senior Network Administrator, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu 
“IPV is incredibly excited to be part of WBA OpenRoaming. This implementation will improve user experiences for everyone who accesses Wi-Fi on our campus – students, teachers, employees, visitors, and participants in the various national and international conferences we host – not to mention reduced stress for our IT team in managing the network. Our experience with Extreme throughout this project has been wonderful, and we hope to be an example of what OpenRoaming can achieve for other institutions and communities across Europe as the project continues to grow.”

Nabil Bukhari, Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Extreme Networks 
“Open roaming between 5G and Wi-Fi networks is critical in enabling next-generation consumer experiences and the Infinite Enterprise. Seamless and secure connectivity inside and outside of buildings makes things like smart cities and working and learning from anywhere a possibility. Extreme is proud to be part of the WBA’s consortium of industry leaders that are striving to make connectivity more seamless and accessible, and we’re confident it will have a positive impact for everyone on IPV’s campus.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com ]

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