30 January 2003


I am attending a project proposal meeting in Stockhom, with partners from around Europe (Sweden, Germany, Spain and so on). The university here (KTH) provide a WLAN wireless network (802.11b) here on their campus, and elsewhere in Kista (a suburb of Stockholm) and the city centre itself, with Internet connectivity. So I am connected to the Internet via my laptop with WLAN wireless connectivity while sitting in the meeting on campus.

Now, many companies and universities have private WLAN networks, and some allow visiting guests access to these. What is very exciting about the deployment here is that the wireless network is shared between a number of different operators using the StockholmOpen.net software and infrastructure. Currently the university itself (who sponsor the experiment), Yanzi Networks, Lidnet, and Telia all share the same access network and provide Internet access via this network. The system allows users to select the operator of their choice (e.g. students use the university and their standard user accounts, shoppers in a shopping centre may buy a card at a counter giving a code which allows access via one of the other operators but both use the same network). The technical details of how this is achieved are available at StockholmOpen.net, and the software is open source and freely downloadable.

To users, once they are connected and using the system, the fact that they are using a multi-operator network makes little difference. It appears to you that the network is owned by your operator. However, it makes a big difference to the cost of deploying such a network, as it can be shared by all operators some of which may be commercial, and others community funded schemes. Potentially the cost could be so low that the network could grow organically as people deploy extra parts and join in to the network.

I will keep this weblog updated with progress on the project proposal we are building around this concept.

[c.f. search my weblog for references to StockholmOpen]

Posted by mofoghlu at January 30, 2003 10:36 AM | TrackBack