Kenya Education Network (KENET), the National Research and Education Network (NREN) of Kenya, today announced it has signed an agreement with Atlancis Technologies Limited, Africa’s first Open OEM, to deploy Africa’s first true multi-vendor compatible Enterprise Wi-Fi network based on the Telecom Infra Project’s (TIP) OpenWiFi solution.
The deployment, delivered through TIP ecosystem participants Actiontec, HFCL Limited and NetExperience, will expand the WiFi coverage of student learning spaces, lecturer halls, and hostels at main campus of Kenyatta University, a public research-intensive university in Nairobi, Kenya. The university has an enrollment of about 60,000 students and over over 5,000 faculty and staff members. This will be the first time that a cloud based OpenWiFi architecture is deployed in Africa.
TIP OpenWiFi is a community-developed, disaggregated Wi-Fi software system, offered as free open-source software that features premium managed Wi-Fi features, including both a cloud controller SDK and an Enterprise-grade Access Point (AP) firmware, designed and validated to work seamlessly together. Open and disaggregated network solutions such as TIP OpenWiFi confer a number of key benefits over current proprietary solutions that make them particularly suited to delivering capital and operational savings that reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, enterprise and carrier-grade features enable the provision of high quality, high-capacity connectivity at scale, which is critical to delivering the kind of service that can meet the requirements and expectations of today’s student body.
“We believe TIP OpenWiFi will contribute to our mission of transforming education and research through community ICT innovation and solutions. In collaboration with the TIP community and partners, we are determined to provide faster and better connectivity services to student and faculty members in our member universities” said Professor Meoli Kashorda, CEO of KENET.
“As a participant of the Telecom Infra Project, Atlancis is excited to be at the forefront of this revolutionary global movement for disaggregated networks. We are thrilled to bring to KENET an Enterprise grade Wi-Fi solution with products from a multiple vendor list that is continually growing, all working seamlessly together to deliver gigabit Wi-Fi services” said Tony Webala CTO of Atlancis.
“We are very pleased to be part of the KENET OpenWiFi deployment at Kenyatta University. This is a high-profile project that will result in significant Internet connectivity enhancements for both students and faculty, said Bernard Herscovici, CEO of NetExperience. “NetExperience has been a part of TIP and the OpenWiFi initiative from the start of its development and we are proud to see deployments of this importance taking place. Our cloud-based WLAN controller, management system, automation platform and analytics are compatible with any OpenWiFi hardware vendor access point, providing the customer with an enterprise grade solution at a significantly lower total cost of ownership than other existing products.”
“Actiontec is proud to help deploy TIP OpenWiFi devices as part of the KENET Open WiFI solution for Kenyatta University. Actiontec supports open and disaggregated wifi solutions for its partners and customers.” said John McBrayne Director, Product Management at Actiontec.
“We are really proud to be a part of this project, offering connectivity to students in Kenya. We really believe open and disaggregated networks are the future of connectivity and hence our commitment towards TIP OpenWiFi deployments not only across India but also around the globe”, said Mahendra Nahata, Managing Director, HFCL Limited. “Our carrier grade Indoor and Outdoor Access Points under brand name IO come bundled with TIP OpenWiFi release and can interoperate with any 3rd party OpenWiFi based APs, managed by a single OpenWiFi controller. This really opens up infinite possibilities to the customers, and enables them to not get tied up with one OEM and offers them fair choice for selection. We are confident once any customer uses our products, they will continue to come back to us.”
“Today’s announcement shows the incredible potential for improving on-campus connectivity that can be unlocked through the deployment of open and disaggregated networks. Crucially, solutions like TIP OpenWiFi not only spur network technology innovation, they also enable a wide array of new business models and use cases. These make it easier and more economically viable than ever before to deploy the high quality connectivity solutions we know to have an even greater impact on education outcomes,” said Attilio Zani, Executive Director, Telecom Infra Project.
Kenya Education Network (KENET), the National Research and Education Network (NREN) of Kenya is a not-for-profit membership operator incorporated to support research and education institutions. We provide cost-effective, fast and reliable Internet connectivity and related services to enhance education and research. Using ICTs, we provide education technology services and research solutions to our member-institutions countrywide. KENET also provides various resources and services, including travel grants and capacity building.
KENET is licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) as a Tier-2 Network Operator Kenya. Currently, we have connected about 400 campuses of 180 member institutions that include universties, research institutes, teaching hospitals high-speed global Internet and to our exclusive research and education network https://www.kenet.or.ke