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University of Bahrain connects campus with Aruba

Aruba network will service 28,000 staff and students at UoB

The Aruba network will support up to 10,000 simultaneous users.
The Aruba network will support up to 10,000 simultaneous users.

The University of Bahrain (UoB) has deployed wireless network based on Aruba solutions, to connect staff and students across its 5sq km campus.

The university has rolled out the network to serve 26,000 students and 1,800 staff.

The network will support up to 10,000 simultaneous users, and includes central monitoring and control and built in security capabilities.

The network has been deployed by Kanoo IT, Aruba's integration partner in Bahrain.

Wael Attiya, Director of IT Center, University of Bahrain said: "We wanted our staff and students to take advantage of the mobility revolution as our goal is to transform into a digital university. A high performance Wi-Fi network would be fundamental to this vision.

"As smartphone penetration in Bahrain exploded, we began to see these devices become much more prevalent in our campus. We were presented with an opportunity to introduce new mobile services but needed to upgrade our wireless infrastructure."

One of the biggest challenges during deployment was the sheer scale of the project. Over 80 buildings had to be included for coverage and access to these could be hampered by security policies, university operational hours and other such factors. By use of Aruba's 7200 series mobility controllers, the University's engineering teams were able to simply install the APs at their convenience, while the IT team could then remotely manage the setup and configuration.

Sohaib Alabdi, Head of Information Networks Division - IT Center, University of Bahrain commented: "We offer a unique mobile app for student registration and during this period of the academic year, we have up to 600 students in one particular area. But since each Aruba AP can handle 100-120 simultaneous connections, we manage this peak volume with a minimal number of APs.

"Aruba's ClientMatch technology automatically connects client devices to the best possible access point. By eliminating sticky clients, the feature has enabled seamless roaming between APs without any noticeable drop in wireless network performance," he added.

Around 70% of the university's campus is covered by the network at present, and the university plans to continue to extend coverage in phases based on the requirements of different departments.

Alabdi said: "Back in 2008, we did extensive research to implement the best Wi-Fi solution on the campus and we chose Aruba. After nearly 8 years, not only have our findings shown that Aruba was the best choice, but it has been instrumental in easing the continued growth in Wi-Fi use within our campus all these years. The recent upgrade using the latest Aruba technology has taken us one step closer to our digital transformation ambition. We look forward to having Aruba and Kanoo IT help the University of Bahrain be at the forefront of wireless solutions in the region."