Regent’s College London Chooses Aerohive to Provide Business-Class Wi-Fi for Students

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Aerohive Networks, provider of cloud-enabled enterprise networking infrastructure, today announced that Regent’s College London, the UK’s largest not-for profit private college of higher education, has deployed Aerohive’s wireless LAN (WLAN) solution to deliver best of breed learning tools to its highly expectant students.

The WLAN, implemented with support from LAN3, replaces an existing controller-based 3com network and is providing 2,500 pupils, staff and visitors with business-class Wi-Fi access across its seven schools and world-class conference centre.

News Facts

• As a private college renowned for its professionalism and internationalism, technology plays a critical role in the on-going development plans of Regent’s College London. Providing students and staff with uninterrupted and secure wireless access throughout the conference centre and 11 acre campus is crucial.

• The College’s existing controller-based 3com wireless network was not able to offer the quality of service the College needed at this scale, so the IT team began outlining its requirements. The IT department sought a solution that would allow them to operate a secure, easy to manage, future-proof network.

• Upon graduation the College’s alumni are in high demand from large organisations and attract highly-paid careers. Therefore it was essential that the solution chosen provided business grade connectivity – the sort its students would expect to find when they enter the world of work.

• Students began bringing smart devices, such as iPads and BlackBerrys on campus. Consequently the IT department needed a solution that could meet the increasingly high demand for Wi-Fi access from students using these mobile internet devices and cope with the accompanying traffic on the network.

• The College assessed WLAN solutions from Aerohive and Meru, but chose Aerohive because it requires no controller and provides simple, centralised management capabilities. In addition, its linear pricing model means APs can be added as and when they’re needed. This would enable the solution to easily scale with future development plans.

• Regent’s College London has installed Aerohive APs in its lecture halls, as well as some study and social areas including outside areas using external APs. The new Aerohive WLAN solution means the College can offer reliable internet access to all students regardless of what device they are using. Students can now log on to the internet, browse and access applications, such as Blackboard VLE, in some of the outside areas via any mobile internet device.

• At the same time, Aerohive’s centralised management platform, HiveManager, is enabling the IT department to manage and control network and user access – using many automated tools – from one location. The user profiling function means that the team can now easily authorise access for guests, students and staff access according to their specific needs without any added management overhead.

• Moving forward, the College plans to roll out the WLAN further across the campus with the intention of providing wireless access anywhere and everywhere.

“As a private college touting professionalism and internationalism, delivering best of breed learning tools to our highly-expectant, and rapidly growing student base, is essential. We were experiencing a high demand from students who were requiring uninterrupted Wi-Fi access from their smart devices,” explains Carlos Nogueira, Head of IS Department, at Regent’s College.

“I was approached by the CEO and Principal Professor Aldwyn Cooper with a five-year wireless and mobility strategy. Providing students with ubiquitous business-grade Internet access throughout lecture halls, libraries and communal areas was our priority – not just for web browsing but also to accommodate the needs of faculties delivering courses via a VLE environment, such as Blackboard,” concludes Nogueira.

Mick Heath, Network and Infrastructure Manager, explains, “We required a flexible WLAN solution that was scalable enough to accommodate all of our business and teaching needs.

“We soon recognised the potential benefits of a centrally managed network. Aerohive’s linear pricing model was also a factor in our decision and means we have more financial leeway than before – having the flexibility to add APs as and when we need them wasn’t an option with controller based solutions”

Heath concludes, “70 per cent of devices used by students are now mobile smart devices. We’re providing them with reliable Wi-Fi, which is improving the learning experience, as well as the tools needed to network with peers and communicate with relatives and friends.”