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The Road to a Wireless Campus Carl Whitman Executive Director American University, e-operations.

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Presentation on theme: "The Road to a Wireless Campus Carl Whitman Executive Director American University, e-operations."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road to a Wireless Campus Carl Whitman Executive Director American University, e-operations

2 Agenda  About American University  Wireless project objectives  Highlights  Problem and development of a solution  Details of the hardware and software approach  Financial considerations  Social and educational impact  Questions and answers

3 About American University  An independent, private university located in Washington D.C  Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893, AU enrolls 11,000 students from all states and 140 foreign countries  84-acre main campus, 5 remote locations, 44 major buildings  Academic units include: –College of Arts and Sciences –Kogod School of Business –School of Communication –School of International Service –School of Public Affairs –Washington College of Law  “Ideas into Action, Action into Service”

4 Objectives of the Wireless Campus Project  Distinguish AU among its competitors by being first to implement a comprehensive wireless campus strategy  Encourage use of technology in teaching  Improve student services by delivering new and existing applications via any type of wireless device  Create cost savings  Create new revenue opportunities  Provide benefits to parents and alumni  Facilitate a transition to a next generation telephone system for staff and faculty

5 Highlights  Entire campus will have wireless access via a single infrastructure supporting both WLAN and cellular telephone service  Wireless-enabled technology will be provided to all faculty  and selected web content will be available on data- capable cell phones and other devices (Palm, Pocket PC)  Reduced cell phone rate plans will be offered to all students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni  Conventional residence hall telephone service will eventually be replaced by student-owned cell phones

6 The Road to a Wireless Campus  Began February 2001 as part of an information technology strategic planning engagement with BearingPoint (then known as KPMG Consulting)  Feasibility study identified wireless technologies as a possible source of competitive advantage and cost savings for the university  75% of AU’s competitors were offering some form of wireless network access  Revenues from resale of long-distance telephone service to the 3,500 students living in campus residence halls were declining sharply

7 The Road to a Wireless Campus  Student surveys and market research revealed great student interest in cellular telephone use  In a survey of AU students conducted by BearingPoint: –61% said they own a cell phone –89% indicated interest in an AU-sponsored discount cell phone plan –48% indicated a willingness to replace their conventional residence hall phone with a cell phone  Discussions with wireless carriers were held throughout the summer and fall of 2001 to explore the business case for the carriers and the university

8 The Road to a Wireless Campus  RFP to hardware vendors issued in December 2001  Pilot project began in two buildings in March 2002  Full deployment announced in May 2002  Six campus residence halls, business school, and one other classroom building online by September 2002  Completion in April 2003

9 Background – Data Network  Named as one of the 50-most wired campuses in 1997 by Yahoo! Internet Life magazine  Gigabit Ethernet fiber optic backbone links all buildings and five remote locations within a two-mile radius of the campus  Over 8,500 switched network ports  Most classrooms only provide network access for the instructor  Wireless technology can be used to: –Give every classroom seat access to the campus network and the Internet –Provide network access outside of buildings and in large areas such as the campus theater and arena

10 Background – Telephone Service  Clear shift in usage patterns to cell phones observed as more students adopt their use  Pay phone usage almost non-existent  Local call trunk lines underutilized  Decline in student long distance resale revenue: –FY’97 = $311,000FY’99 = $255,000 –FY’00 = $164,000FY’03 = $30,000  Staff use of university-funded cell phones is increasing and rate plans are too costly  Reception is frequently poor inside of buildings, especially the residence halls

11 The Solution?

12 In-Building Distributed Antenna System  Radio equipment from Foxcom Wireless provides signal to multiple antennas installed on each floor of all buildings  System is capable of simultaneous transmission of wireless Ethernet and cell phone signals from multiple carriers  Ethernet access points are installed in central wiring closet and linked to the Foxcom equipment. They can be from any vendor; AU is using the Cisco 1200 series  Carrier cell sites on campus connect directly to the antenna system via fiber links –Cingular Wireless is first participant –Negotiations underway with other carriers

13 In-Building Antenna System  Scope of project: –40 buildings; 167 floors –2 million square feet of coverage area –640 antennas; 190 access points –13 miles (!) of coaxial cable in addition to existing fiber optic distribution network –14 months installation time –$2 million investment

14 802.11b Channels  (14) 22 MHz wide channels (11 under FCC/ISTC)  3 non-overlapping channels (1, 6,11)  11 Mbps data rate  3 access points or bridges can be co-located in the same location for a total of 33 Mbps aggregate throughput

15 Positioning 5GHz a  Maximum Wireless LAN performance: 54Mbps  Higher expected throughput than g, yet smaller footprint  8 channels  Works only in U.S., Japan, and other FCC countries  5 GHz band has less interference 2.4GHz b & g  11Mbps  36Mbps  54Mbps  3 channels / Worldwide compatibility  Compatibility with installed base of b products  Easy upgrade path to high-speed g  Wide selection of client devices  Lower cost products  Lower power products (important for handhelds)

16 5 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz  Range of 5GHz is much smaller— about 30%  Overall investment of infrastructure is higher (more access points) 30' 100' 2.4GHz GHz Range 5GHz

17 Coverage of a Typical Office Floor 150x120 ft Single Access Point +20 dbm Power

18 Single Access Point +10 dbm Power 150x120 ft Coverage of a Typical Office Floor

19 WLAN Aux Module Chnl 1 Access Point 1 Coverage Area ModuLite 840 WLAN – One Access Point MRC

20 Access Point 1 Access Point 2 WLAN Aux Module Chnl 1 Chnl 6 Chnl 1 Chnl 6 Coverage Area ModuLite 840 WLAN – Two Access Points MRC

21 Access Point 1 Access Point 2 WLAN Aux Module Chnl 1 Chnl 11 Chnl 6 Chnl 11 Access Point 3 Coverage Area ModuLite 840 WLAN – Three Access Points MRC

22 Access Point 4 Coverage Area Access Point 3 Access Point 2 Access Point 1 Chnl 1Chnl 6 Chnl 1Chnl 11 ModuLite 840 WLAN – Four Access Points MRC

23 Access Point 4 ModuLite 840 Chnl 1Chnl 6 Coverage Area Access Point 3 Access Point 2 Access Point 1 MRC ModuLite2000 VerizonCingularSprintAT&TServices Chnl 1Chnl 11 Add Cell Phone Services

24 Lower Level 1st Floor 2nd Floor 3rd Floor 4th Floor 5th Floor 6th Floor WLAN 7th Floor WLAN Riser MRC MBU Mini Cell Typical Building To Wireless Carrier Fiber For Voice Traffic Foxcom Modulite Remote Cabinet (MRC) WLAN Cisco Access Point SWITCH Cat5 Fiber For Data Traffic

25 Typical Building AntennaCabling

26 In-Building Antenna System  Advantages: –All wireless carriers can be supported simultaneously –Fewer access points are needed –Access points and RF electronics are secure in central closet; only passive, low-cost components are exposed –Cell phones from participating carriers are guaranteed excellent signal quality in all areas of a building –Lower overall RF power levels are required; battery life improved

27 Software Applications  (Lotus Notes) can be sent and received on cell phones and PDAs with WAP browsers  functionality provided by Lotus Domino Everyplace Access Server –But …  More than half of the students forward their mail to other service providers, so additional products are also being evaluated to meet their needs  Future plans include use of Domino Everyplace SMS and Sametime Everyplace to enhance available features and add awareness applications

28 Software Applications  Web site transcoding products under evaluation  Software / hardware combination that transforms web site content into a format appropriate to the receiving device –Modify page layout for small PDA and cell phone displays –Remove graphics –Optimize data transmission  Examples: –IBM WebSphere Transcoding Publisher –Net6 Mobile Transformation Gateway –(Also available as Cisco CTE 1400) –Eizel Technologies Amplifi Server

29 Software Applications  Location aware technology under evaluation  Software / hardware combination that permits the physical location of an b device to be determined  Enables location-specific content and network control: –Virtual campus tour –Limit network access within classrooms –Detect security exposures  Examples: –Newbury Networks –Bluesoft, Inc. –Vernier Networks

30 Wireless LAN Security  Registration system created to limit network access  “MARS” – MAC (“Media Access Control”) Address Registration System  Only authenticated devices can access the network  Upon first connection to the network: –Limited IP and domain name server information is assigned to the device –Access is confined to a web site that is used to register each device; all URLs resolve to this one site –User must provide valid AU ID and password, and agree to usage policy –After client reboot, valid IP network credentials are provided

31 Wireless LAN Security  SSID broadcast disabled  128-bit WEP encryption  Controlled access to key and SSID values  WEP key changed periodically  Applications rely on SSL protocol

32 Financial Issues  Business case for the carriers: –Joint marketing effort with the university reduces cost of attracting new customer –High average usage can be expected –Students are likely adopters of new data services and other revenue generating activities (e.g., download ring tones) –Access to broader audience of parents and alumni –Network capacity management  Issues for the carriers: –Cell site and antenna system investment –Rate plan discounts for students –Revenue sharing

33 Financial Issues  Business case for the university: –Relatively low cost to add cell phone capability to a wireless LAN system –PBX trunk line reduction savings –PBX maintenance and support savings –Avoid future capital cost of residence hall telephone system –New revenue sharing opportunities to recover lost revenue  Easier migration to IP-based telephone system for faculty and staff  University facilitates discounted cell phone rate plans for students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni  University facilitates purchase discount for students for computing hardware needed for wireless connectivity

34 Social and Educational Issues  What will students REALLY use their wireless connectivity for?  Not all faculty are convinced of the value of computing technology in the classroom  More opportunities are available to “misbehave” in an academic setting  The New York Times recently reported that: “One professor at a law school in Texas became so upset by the level of student distraction in 2001 that he took a ladder to school, climbed up to reach the wireless transmitter in his classroom – and disconnected it. The students protested. The administration told him to plug it back in. But the point was made …”

35 Contact Information  Carl Whitman –

36 Questions ?


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