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American University of Sharjah Deploys Campus-Wide Wi-Fi

American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented wireless infrastructure across its 200-acre campus, including lecture halls, student dorms and outdoor green spaces.

Prior to this deployment, the university had Wi-Fi in select administrative buildings only, but the growing number of students with mobile devices, as well as increasing use of online applications and digital curriculum spurred a demand for campus-wide wireless infrastructure.

The university conducted an 18-month proof-of-concept trial of numerous wireless technologies, including cloud-based controllerless solutions and on-premises controller-based solutions. AUS tested each solution in live environments for three-to-four week trial periods. At the end of the process, AUS selected Smart Wi-Fi network infrastructure from Ruckus Wireless because it offered the lowest total cost of ownership and because it could "extend signal coverage and strength, thereby delivering higher data rates to users," according to a news release from Ruckus.

The university partnered with Fiber Optic Supplies and Services (FOSS) to design, plan, test and implement the solution, which includes more than 1,400 dual-band Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs). AUS can manage the unified wireless system remotely from a single point through redundant Ruckus ZoneDirector controllers.

The new infrastructure supports more than 6,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff, and according to a news release from Ruckus, it provides "high-density wireless connectivity, pervasive performance and carrier-grade reliability essential to supporting online examinations and multimedia applications." AUS has reported a 46 percent reduction in fault calls since the implementation. Students previously had problems connecting to the university's wired network from their dorms, but the implementation of the wireless network has effectively neutralized those problems.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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