Cisco and Canary Wharf Group, owner of one of the largest business centres in Europe, have announced what the partners claim to be the world’s first commercial trial deployment of OpenRoaming.
Combining mobile roaming with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, OpenRoaming allows devices to connect automatically to Wi-Fi and roam from one hotspot to another without the need for the user to log in, Cisco said in a blog post.
The U.S. networking firm also said that the joint initiative will also provide up to four times faster wireless speeds by deploying Cisco Wi-Fi 6 access points, along with location-based analytics to allow its clients to build unique services for their customers.
Canary Wharf Group is located in the heart of London, with 17 million square feet of commercial office and retail space. The estate has a working population of 120,000 people with an additional 40,000 visitors daily on weekdays and 130,000 visitors over the weekend. There are up to 4,250 homes in development in the area.
Wood Wharf, a 5 million square foot regeneration project on the estate, will provide Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to its businesses and residents when it opens its doors to tenants in 2020.
Cisco also highlighted that OpenRoaming will dramatically improve efficiencies and flexibility of onboarding Wi-Fi for the more than 20,000 entrepreneurs, as well as independent retailers, bars, cafes, hotels and workspaces.
“For the real estate industry, next generation connectivity is a critical utility. Extending the value of our services well beyond office space, our customers are demanding access to world-class digital infrastructure and connectivity,” said George Iacobesco, executive chairman, Canary Wharf Group. “Canary Wharf Group is committed to creating an estate-wide environment in which businesses can thrive. As well as refreshing our provision for commercial customers, we are continuously evolving our offering to residents and visitors, and initiatives such as this ensure that we are able to do so. We’re delighted to be working with Cisco on this ground breaking initial deployment.”
“Canary Wharf Group is a pioneer in delivering the latest innovation to drive experiences for its businesses, shoppers and residents and we are proud to be a part of their vision for this iconic site,” said Scot Gardner, CEO, Cisco UK and Ireland. “Secure connectivity is fundamental to the UK’s growth, and with best-in class Wi-Fi, as well as the seamless experience of OpenRoaming, Canary Wharf Group is providing the foundation for businesses to benefit from the digital economy.”
Canary Wharf will also help landlords and tenants to understand how their real estate is being used, with data analytics to drive efficiency in workspace design using Cisco DNA Spaces. Further, it enables over-the-top use cases such as location-based services, end user engagement and wayfinding to enable individuals to find the meeting room or retail store they are looking for.
OpenRoaming is a Cisco-led federation that includes trusted identity providers, allowing users to join any network that is part of the federation. It enables the network to securely auto-authenticate end user devices by using established identity providers, such as the user’s service provider or device manufacturer. Proven as a concept for the first time in February 2019, with attendees from around the world at MWC Barcelona, the network technology has now been tested in several environments, Cisco said.