Wi-Fi upgrade supports Covid-ready campus at University of Limerick

Agile UL
Sean Nolan, Agile Networks; Ray O'Connor, Aruba; Brendan Dore, Ger Moroney and Marguerite McEnery, University of Limerick; Martin Moran, Commet; and Marie Linnane, University of Limerick

High-performance wireless network with 2,000 access points provides safer workspaces for more than 20,000 students and staff

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26 August 2021 | 0

Network integrator and cloud services provider Agile Networks has completed a campus-wide project at the University of Limerick (UL) to provide Wi-Fi connectivity for the institution’s 20,000 students and staff.

The provision of extensive Wi-Fi supports the university’s efforts to offer a Covid-ready campus for the return of students in September.  It facilitates easy reconfiguration of teaching spaces to cater for physically distanced learning.

More than 2,000 access points (APs) have been installed throughout the campus based on Aruba Networks’ wireless technology. Aruba’s Adaptive Radio Management technology played a key role in the project’s success as it automatically assigns channel and power settings, ensuring that APs stay clear of all sources of RF interference. This feature proved invaluable in the Plassey Building, for example with its thick walls and older structure.

 

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For the first time, outdoors spaces have been networked to include the 1.5km ‘Living Bridge’, where students typically congregate to discuss the burning questions of the day. Other outdoor areas such as the student courtyard and the green space around the library building also provide high-speed connectivity, while two of the main car parks have also been networked.

“Student demands for multimedia access including video, voice, chat and desktop sharing brings a different set of requirements and that’s the design standard we set for the project,” said Ger Moroney, IT project manager with the University of Limerick. “The team at Agile Networks completed the project with professionalism and competence, overcoming many technical challenges, particularly in some of our older buildings.”

“Detailed site surveys were a critical part of the network design,” said Sean Nolan, business development manager with Agile Networks. “We carried them out pre- and post-installation to ensure that all areas of the campus had optimum coverage. 

“Aruba’s User Experience Insight (UXI) software also ensures consistent user experience thanks to sensors, which perform continuous monitoring and testing of the Wi-Fi network with AI-powered awareness of network health and performance. UXI Sensors help the small network team at UL to diagnose, troubleshoot, and even detect anomalies before issues arise and data is viewed in real time on a cloud-based dashboard.”

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