University of Huddersfield deploys a Meru 802.11ac Wi-Fi network

UK university rolls out one of the first major deployments of the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, which is capable of delivering speeds of 1Gbps plus

University of Huddersfield deploys a Meru 802.11ac Wi-Fi network

Meru Networks has announced that the University of Huddersfield will replace its existing Cisco network with a campus-wide 802.11ac Meru Education-grade Wi-Fi solution to support high densities of students accessing voice and video applications over their mobile devices. 

The first phase of the deployment was conducted in Huddersfield’s new £22.5m Student Central building, which opened in January this year. Phase two of the deployment, which began last month, is expected to extend the Gigabit Wi-Fi network to the entire campus by the end of the year.

“Due to its age we were experiencing poor, patchy performance with our previous network and had particular challenges with roaming – not ideal with a highly mobile student population armed with multiple mobile devices,” said Joanna Radley, manager of Data Centre, Infrastructure & Network Services at the University of Huddersfield. 

“We were finding that devices would connect to a wireless access point, but then stick to it as people moved from place to place, which affects performance by reducing the available bandwidth to each client. Meru makes life a lot easier by putting the network in control.”

The Huddersfield Student Central building is the main gathering place for students on the university campus, offering students catering, a sports hall, a library, the student union and even a mobile concierge team armed with Apple iPads. 

The new network, utilising Meru AP832 802.11ac access points, was designed and deployed by Meru partner Capita Managed IT Solutions, which will also participate in the design aspects of phase two of the deployment.

The University of Huddersfield was recently named Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. This follows a highly successful 2013 in which the University was also awarded two Queen's Awards for Enterprise and in 2012 was awarded the prestigious Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards. 

The University is also in the top 10 in England for teaching excellence and is ranked in the top 10 nationally for undergraduate and postgraduate employability, student placements in industry and the number of student and graduate businesses supported.

“Huddersfield is absolutely committed to delivering the best possible Wi-Fi experience to its large mobile student population,” said Henry Batten, UK territory manager for Meru.

“As a forward-looking, visionary educational establishment, it needed a mobility centric Wi-Fi solution that would perform in high density, while meeting their requirements several years into the future. We’re delighted to have been chosen by the Times Higher Education University of the Year to meet this need.”


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