While not quite as old as the school, which was founded in 1218, Spain’s Universidad de Salamanca’s wireless infrastructure was in desperate need of a refresh.
Like most universities, the Universidad de Salamanca relies on its network to connect their 28,000 students. Whether it’s relaxing in their dorm rooms, learning in the classrooms or using social media to promote the school’s myriad special events, a fast and reliable network is an absolute necessary.
The school’s IT Communications Manager Ramón Bellido de Vega agrees.
“Our wireless system was ten-years-old,” he said. “As a result, we could not provide enough coverage in some areas.”
A need for faster speed and a larger coverage area lead Universidad de Salamanca to investigate Cisco for its new wireless network. The school liked the solution that Cisco offered. For a campus that spans 80 buildings over four cities, the Universidad de Salamanca needed wireless devices that provide cutting-edge technology but are easy to deploy. That lead Cisco to suggest the Cisco Aironet 1800 and 2800 Series Access Points (AP) along with the Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controllers, a variety of Cisco switches and Cisco Prime infrastructure to easily manage the entire network.
Supporting the newest 802.11ac Wave 2 standards, both access points provide higher performance, faster speeds and an increased bandwidth over the school’s previous network. The Aironet 2800 Series Access Points also makes use of the Flexible Radio Assignment (FRA) feature. FRA detects when a large number of devices are connected to a network and adds capacity by automatically switching the AP’s dual radios from 2.4/5 GHz to 5/5GHz. You can imagine how this would be a huge boon in an academic setting.
The Aironet 2800 Access Point also provides High Density Experience (HDX) which alleviates network strain when large volumes of client devices attempt to connect to the APs.
Agudo Cuesta, Security and Network consultant for the Universidad de Salamanca said, “With HDX, we can utilize Dynamic Bandwidth Selection to use all the spectrum available in the 5GHz band without fear of interference.”
After the upgrade—the school almost doubled their access point total going from 700 to 1,300—the Universidad de Salamanca has reported success. Not only are students, staff and visitors afforded the faster, more secure connections, but the IT staff has had an opportunity to work on more pressing projects. The reason? There was a decrease in requests to troubleshoot the network.
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