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Brazil’s GRU airport gets Wi-Fi 6 OpenRoaming network

Cisco exec: ‘The only thing faster than the Wi-Fi 6 network is the process of connecting to it’

The world’s first at-airport Wi-Fi 6 network using Wireless Broadband Alliance’s (WBA) OpenRoaming has been established at Brazil’s São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), providing secure and automatic connectivity for travelers and employees. The network, powered by Cisco and managed by Boingo, will be available in GRU’s international Terminal 3, using Samsung Galaxy devices.

The most critical element of this deployment is Wi-Fi 6 which can deliver speeds up to three times faster than Wi-Fi 5 technologies, as well as greater reliability and ultra-low latency and the fact that, with OpenRoaming, users will no longer be bothered by repeat registration and log-in that public Wi-Fi networks often require.

Instead, GRU users will enjoy the convenience of instant network access matched with enterprise-grade security. OpenRoaming, developed by Cisco and now controlled by WBA, allows seamless Wi-Fi onboarding and is built upon a set of standards and guidelines developed by the WBA and Wi-Fi Alliance. A user can join any network managed by any provider within the established trusted federation of providers. The network is then able to automatically authenticate devices by using established identity providers, such as a service provider, device manufacturer, cloud ID or even loyalty memberships.

“The only thing faster than GRU’s Cisco-based Wi-Fi 6 network is the process of connecting to it,” said Matt MacPherson, CTO of Cisco Wireless. “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.”

The OpenRoaming 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.

“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.”  


Catherine Sbeglia Nin
Catherine Sbeglia Nin
Catherine is the Managing Editor for RCR Wireless News and Enterprise IoT Insights, where she covers topics such as Wi-Fi, network infrastructure and edge computing. She also hosts Arden Media's podcast Well, technically... After studying English and Film & Media Studies at The University of Rochester, she moved to Madison, WI. Having already lived on both coasts, she thought she’d give the middle a try. So far, she likes it very much.

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