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Netgear scoops wireless education contract

Netgear has clinched a deal to equip schools in the UAE with a wireless solution, it has revealed to IT Weekly.

The US$500,000 agreement will see the vendor supply two of its products - the wireless access point WAG102 and ProSafe 8 Port 10/100 switch - to 350 government schools in the UAE.

"All students at schools that belong to the government will start [their] second half semester covered by Netgear wireless," said Ahmad Zeidan, channel sales manager for Netgear Middle East.

Ali Meihad Al Suwaidi, assistant under secretary of human resources planning and development for the UAE's Ministry of Education, said the ministry opted for the solution from Netgear after a successful trial run of the products in some of its schools.

"Netgear was one of the many networking companies who bid for our contract. Linksys also submitted a bid, as did others. The ministry chose Netgear because of its reputation for high quality and its affordability," he said.

"Our studies indicate that building a wired infrastructure network in 350 schools would cost us far more than utilising the wireless solution suggested by Netgear," he added.

The adoption of wireless technology by the Ministry is part of a general shift in the education sector to more sophisticated teaching techniques.