London — The Wireless Broadband Alliance said they have installed a Wi-Fi 6 network using OpenRoaming at Brazil’s São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).
OpenRoaming provides secure, automatic, and friction-free access to the Cisco-powered network that is managed by Boingo. Currently, the WBA OpenRoaming service is being made available to travelers in GRU’s international Terminal 3, using Samsung Galaxy devices.
Based on 802.11ax and featuring channels up to 160 MHz wide, Wi-Fi 6 can deliver speeds up to three times faster than 802.11 technologies. Designed for use in the 2.4, 5, and new 6 GHz bands, Wi-Fi 6 also provides greater reliability, ultra-low latency, and higher network efficiency in airports, stadiums, and other environments with large numbers of simultaneously connected devices.
“WBA OpenRoaming completely transforms the user experience for travelers and airport employees by eliminating the registrations, log-ins, and other traditional authentication processes and replacing them all with a secure and seamless onboarding framework. It also opens up new opportunities for retailers in the airport, as they look to engage with travelers by creating unique digital experiences to win their business,” said Matt MacPherson, CTO of Cisco Wireless.
Passengers and airport employees will no longer have to log in to public Wi-Fi networks repeatedly. They will be able to enjoy a seamless experience when watching videos or gaming as they’re waiting for their flight. It will also improve consumers’ experience in the retail stores as it will allow a smoother check-out process and support back-office operations.
The service frees travelers, airport employees, and other users from the repeat registration and log-in that public Wi-Fi networks often require. Instead of re-registering or re-entering log-in credentials, GRU users will enjoy the convenience of instant network access matched with enterprise-grade security. When coupled with the Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure, OpenRoaming also helps provide a carrier-grade Wi-Fi experience.
Boingo designed, installed, and manages the GRU network, which was the world’s first airport Wi-Fi 6 network when it launched in October 2020. Travelers have up to four hours of free access, including from their older generation Wi-Fi devices, thanks to Wi-Fi’s backward compatibility.
The GRU network features a unified Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure based on Cisco Catalyst access points, controllers, and switches. Samsung provided GRU operations employees with ruggedized handsets and other devices enabled with Broadcom’s W-Fi 6 chipset, enabling them to use Wi-Fi 6 to maximize productivity and responsiveness to passengers whilst different OpenRoaming identities are used to separate automatic access for GRU employees versus guests.
“GRU is South America’s busiest airport,” said Gustavo Figueiredo, GRU Airport´s CEO. “With Wi-Fi 6, our passengers and operations employees now have reliable, seamless, and secure connectivity to assure a better traveling experience.”
“This world-class, world-first airport OpenRoaming network at GRU showcases how the WBA membership collaborates to provide consumers and business users with reliable, blazingly fast connectivity,” said WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues.
“The GRU network also highlights the critical role that OpenRoaming plays in providing people with instant, ultra-secure access to Wi-Fi networks. That peace of mind is key for continuing to build and maintain confidence in public networks.”
“GRU is the latest example of Boingo’s commitment to providing cutting edge technologies that enhance the traveler’s experience and enable airport operations staff to efficiently and effectively serve those travelers,” said Boingo CTO Dr. Derek Peterson. “Boingo was the first to deploy a Wi-Fi 6 airport network, and now we’re working within the WBA to raise the bar yet again with the world’s first OpenRoaming network at an airport.”