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The next steps of the WiFi4EU programme

After the cancellation of the first call, put out by the European Commission on May 15th, the tender for WiFi4EU – the initiative promoted by the European Union for the diffusion of free WiFi connection in public spaces –  officially reopened on November 7th at 13:00 CET, and closed on November 9th at 17:00 CET. Although, three more calls will be published over the next two years, about one every six months.

>> Find out more about WiFi4EU in our previous article

 

The reasons behind the first WiFi4EU call cancellation

The first call was extensively popular, but due to technical issues (a flaw that allowed some municipalities to apply before the call was opened while preventing others to do the same once the call had opened), the WiFi4EU portal was closed a few hours after.

Once the call reopened, all registrations already completed were still valid and registered municipalities were able to apply again with a click of a button. Over 13,000 municipalities registered to the call in order to become eligible for the grants.

If as a municipality, you applied during the canceled call and you want to check whether your application has been kept valid, just enter the WiFi4EU portal with your own credentials.

>>Watch our free webinar about WiFi4EU

 

Winners’ announcement and next steps

The winners will be announced approximately six weeks after the closing of the competition; subsequently, the selected municipalities will receive an email with the request to sign a grant agreement.

Update: the list of the 2,800 municipalities that won the first call has been published on the WiFi4EU portal on December 7th. A total of 42 millions in funds have been allocated for the first call.

>>Read the official announcement and see the list of winners of the first WiFi4EU call by country.

The projects are declared to be selected on a first-come-first-served basis, as each member state will have a limited amount of vouchers (around 2,500) available to give out to deploy free wireless internet access points.

Each voucher is meant to cover the equipment and installation costs (CAPEX) of the Wi-Fi hotspots, up to a maximum of 15,000 euros: if the costs exceed this amount, the difference will be paid by the beneficiary. Other costs, such as subscriptions, maintenance, and the cost for internet connection, are on the municipality itself and cannot be covered with the European Funds.

The beneficiaries of a voucher will have a year and a half to install and operate the hotspots, selecting the public spaces that will be equipped with WiFi and contracting the equipment installation to one or more suppliers. After the hotspot deployment, the municipalities must guarantee free WiFi for at least three years. The voucher assigned to a municipality must be collected by a single supplier, and cannot be split among multiple suppliers.

Municipalities will choose their suppliers of WiFi hardware and installation services from a selected list of suppliers, which is already published on the WiFi4EU portal.

Tanaza is in this list and provides its WiFi services across all the EU member countries, through its extensive network of authorized partners.

 

How to apply to the next WiFi4EU calls

Even if the first call is now closed, it will be possible for municipalities to register for the upcoming ones.
Municipalities and local institutions intending to take part in this project must register on the WiFi4EU portal to be promptly informed about the timing of the request.

The application will need to be accompanied by the «proof of approval» from the legal representative of the institution, from the copy of the act with which he was nominated and his ID card.

 

The future of WiFi4EU

After the announced calls, the second phase of the WiFi4EU scheme (due to start in 2019) will be about making remote monitoring and seamless login available across all the deployed networks. The plan is to introduce a single authentication and authorization platform that allows users to register their credentials and seamlessly roam between WiFi4EU hotspots, without having to constantly log in or to sign up to new hotspots.

Moreover, there will be a remote monitoring system that will ensure that all networks are up and running during the 3-year period; through this platform, the Commission will be also able to remotely monitor the connectivity quality of all the WiFi4EU hotspots.

Tanaza wins WiFi Now’s Best WiFi Startup and Best Enterprise WiFi Solution awards

We are excited to announce Tanaza’s win of two Wi-Fi NOW Awards. This year, Tanaza took home the awards in two categories: Best Wi-Fi Startup and Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution.

According to the award criteria posted on the Wi-Fi Now website for each category, the Best WiFi Startup award was given to the company who represented the best value proposition on the market today, and the Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution award was given to the vendor that had created the most value in this segment.

In a previous post, Tanaza announced its participation in the Wi-Fi NOW Europe expo and conference hosted in Berlin, Germany where our CEO Sebastiano Bertani would speak on the conference’s main stage in a session titled “Unbundling Wi-Fi hardware and software “.  

On November 6th, Sebastiano Bertani’s session took place. The session was attended and praised by many, including Wi-Fi NOW’s renowned CEO & Chairman, Claus Hetting, who defined his speech “interesting and provocative”.

If you would like to listen to Sebastiano Bertani’s session, we can send you a recording of it at a later date. If you are interested, please write us to marketing@tanaza.com.

 

On October 15th,  it was announced that Tanaza was shortlisted as a nominee in 3 different categories (Best WiFi Startup, Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution and Best Service Provider Wi-Fi Solution) of the 2018 version of the Wi-Fi NOW Awards. Tanaza won in 2 of the 3 categories in which it was a nominee.

>> See 2018 Wi-Fi NOW Award Nominee Shortlist

 

 

About Wi-Fi NOW

 

Wi-Fi NOW is the only expo and conference in the world dedicated to Wi-Fi.

Every year, expert speakers in the field of WiFi showcase their skills and share their expertise with event attendees. At the end of each day of the conference, the winners of the WiFi NOW awards are announced.

The winners consist of a select number of companies considered the world’s best in WiFi.

This year there were 8 different WiFi NOW award categories.

>> Find out more about the eight Wi-Fi NOW awards winner announced in Berlin

Photo: Awards Ceremony w/ Claus Hetting (Wi-Fi NOW), Taj Manku (Cognitive Systems), Sebastiano Bertani (Tanaza) & Lidia Caba (Eurona)

To ensure fair judging takes place, the Wi-Fi NOW awards process involves a panel of appointed judges, completely independent from the Wi-Fi NOW team or any of the shortlisted nominees.

>> See 2018 Wi-Fi NOW Award judges

 

 


 

Wi-Fi NOW 2018 Award Nominee Shortlist

Best Wi-Fi Startup:

Best Wi-Fi Innovation:

Best In-home Wi-Fi Product:

Best Wi-Fi Service Provider:

Best Wi-Fi IoT Product:

Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution:

Best Service Provider Wi-Fi Solution:

Wi-Fi NOW Award for Affordable Connectivity:

WiFi 4 and WiFi 5 are the new simplified naming protocols for wireless standards

The WiFi alliance recently announced a change in the names for the IEEE 802.11 wireless standards, the specifications composed of a set of protocols determine the technology requirements of wireless networks. Since the IEEE 802.11 generations of WiFi technology are so popular and similarly named, to avoid confusion the Wi-Fi alliance has decided to appoint simpler names.

 

Simplifying the technical names of wireless standards 

 

For anyone who has no previous WiFi knowledge and has ever tried to purchase a WiFi device, understanding the different generations of WiFi technology within the device can be a real struggle. These technical names composed of a long set of numbers followed by random letters seem nonsensical to anyone not proficient in WiFi terminology, making it difficult to decipher what the different letters are actually referring to.

 

Why is this change happening?

 

The re-brand of these alphanumeric codes will serve to help consumers make more informed decisions about the networks they are connecting to. Namely with popular wireless standards like 802.11n and 802.11ac which are some of the most commonly used, especially used when implementing home and office networks. By renaming these technologies, the WiFi Alliance is replacing these alphanumeric codes for single digit numbers that represent the ranking of each WiFi technology – i.e. WiFi 4 or WiFi 5.

 

From now on, the standard 802.11ac, will be called Wi-Fi 5 as it is the fifth version of IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi generation. Consequently, 802.11n (also sometimes known as Wireless N), will be known as Wi-Fi 4 as it is a lower version of the 802.11ac standard and the fourth version to be developed.
By shortening and simplifying these technical names, users will have a much easier time understanding the hierarchy between the different version. Indeed, the higher the version number, the higher the generation of WiFi technology – vis a vis, most upgraded, in terms of speed, signal, bandwidth.
 

 

 
Although not yet officially announced, the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology – 802.11ax – will soon be denoted WiFi 6.

The 4 most requested features for WiFi professionals

The 4 more requested features for WiFi professionals

The WiFi technology is evolving fast (WiFi 5, also known as 802.11ac, and soon WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax) and so are the needs of our partners. We at Tanaza are focused on our customers’ development and are thus choosing new features to develop according to their needs and the market.

In this article, we list the 4 most requested feature ideas under consideration to develop in the near future.
We strongly encourage you to upvote these features on our community website, success.tanaza.com.

 

Making our WiFi software compatible with 3G/4G devices

 

Supporting 3G and 4G devices with Tanaza software is one of the most requested features by our customers.

Many of our customers already use the workaround that suggests connecting the Tanaza powered access point to their 3G/4G device using an ethernet cable. Consider that this is only possible if both devices have an Ethernet port. Also, either for lack of fiber/DSL internet connection or for mobility requirements, an ethernet connection is sometimes not available.

By supporting 3G/4G devices, Tanaza customers could directly set up a captive portal on a SIM card, and manage networks remotely in many locations. This feature is particularly useful when working in the public transportation sector such as buses and trains.
For example, a travel company could equip their buses with 3G/4G devices and provide WiFi to their customers en route. The company could decide to offer the service for free or to create a paid WiFi hotspot.

To help its customers develop their project in the public transportation sector, Tanaza is considering to support medium-priced 3G/4G devices like the DLINK DWR 953 and DWR 921 that both use a sim card.

Possible scenario: a bus company equips their buses with 3G/4G devices and sets up a captive portal with coupon authentication. The first coupon offered is configured with a limited number of devices and a limited time session, but the service is offered free-of-charge.
WiFi users can decide to buy a second coupon to enjoy unlimited bandwidth and an unlimited time session on the WiFi network.

Integration of a self-service payment system (like PayPal) into the Tanaza splash page

 

Integrate a self-service payment system into the Tanaza splash page would simplify and expedite the process for WiFi solution providers of setting up a paid WiFi network.

Indeed, Tanaza already features a couponing system that allows online payment for WiFi users.

The current experience for the WiFi user is the following:

  1. The user clicks on the external link on the Tanaza splash page
  2. The user redirected to a payment webpage created by the WiFi network administrator
  3. The user purchases the coupon on this webpage and receives a code
  4. Once authenticated, the user must click on a link to get back to the Tanaza splash page.
  5. Finally, the user enters the coupon code on the Tanaza splash page to access to the internet.

On the other hand, by integrating a self-service payment system, like Paypal, directly into the Tanaza splash page, the WiFi network administrator would just have to add it to the splash page editor, configure the process coupon purchase process and deliver the password to the WiFi user. In this scenario, the experience of WiFi users would be simpler.

This feature is particularly useful for satellite providers, internet solution providers and wireless internet solution providers to monetize their WiFi infrastructures. For example, an integrated self-service payment system could allow satellite providers to easily sell internet access to WiFi solution providers and distribute WiFi in many places worldwide.

Integrate Tanaza WiFi with property management systems (PMS)

 

Tanaza has many customers working in the  hospitality sector where a couponing system is particularly needed. Tanaza features a couponing system that facilitates network deployment for hotel managers, especially when setting up different SSIDs and configuring bandwidth control per SSID, number of connected devices per person, number of concurrent users per SSID, customised password, time session and so on.

Nevertheless, hotel managers could further utilize their guest management system if they had the possibility to integrate Tanaza together with a property management system.

A property management system (or PMS) is a software application used to coordinate front office operational functions like sales and planning, guest bookings, guest information, online booking, room numbers, added services and so on.


By integrating a PMS together with Tanaza, hotel managers could check on a single platform details about individual guests together with the SSID they are connected to, the number of devices connected, the amount of bandwidth consumed etc. From a monitoring and management point of view, PMS and Tanaza could bring a real added-value to managers working in the hospitality sector.

Tanaza Hotspot system available without flashing on top of Ruckus and Aerohive devices

 

Tanaza recently developed the Tanaza hotspot system for Meraki Cisco users and is now thinking about developing the Tanaza hotspot system without flashing for Ruckus and Aerohive. The aim is to offer WiFi solution providers the possibility to work with enterprise-level hardware vendors, like Ruckus or Aerohive, and enjoy a full set of hotspot management features.

Moreover, compared to other WiFi hotspot software on the market, Tanaza does not set a limit per concurrent users of splash page views on a WiFi network, allowing WiFi professionals to fully leverage their public networks.

By integrating the Tanaza hotspot system without flashing, WiFi professionals could keep using their devices with the original network management system while configuring the hotspot part on the Tanaza cloud-based platform. Tanaza’s hotspot features include the splash page editor, the couponing system, the captive portal with different authentication methods, and the advertising tool, to name a few.

Related articles:

Users can now see their WiFi voucher usage data

Collect more WiFi user data through social login and custom forms

https://www.tanaza.com/blog/collect-verified-phone-numbers-from-wifi-users/

Cisco Visual Networking Index update about the global IP traffic from 2016 to 2021

Cisco Visual Networking Index update about the global IP traffic from 2016 to 2021

Cisco released an update to their Visual Networking Index, highlighting the increase in IoT applications and in data consumed by mobile devices worldwide.

The global digital transformation is getting faster and increasing considerably these last five years. The direct impact is the high demand and requirements of IP network infrastructures.
The number of internet users is growing and it is predicted that 58% of the worldwide population should have access to the internet by 2021.

To mention, the rise in the machine-to-machine (IoT) connections that represented almost 50% of the total IP traffic in 2016. IoT innovation is growing fast in many different sectors such as connected home, healthcare, and smart transportation services.

In 2021, the WiFi and mobile-connected devices are expected to generate 73% of total IP traffic, an increase of +10 points from 2016. Moreover, the total number of public WiFi hotspots and homespots will grow from 94 million in 2016, to 541.6 million by 2021. Public hotspots will mainly be concentrated in China, Us, Japan, and France. WiFi infrastructures will be deployed in many different sectors such as hospitality, education, public transportation and healthcare

Cisco Visual Networking Index update about the global IP traffic from 2016 to 2021
Cisco Visual Networking Index update about the global IP traffic from 2016 to 2021
In addition to this increase in WiFi hotspots, the average broadband speed is rising too, from 27.5 Mbps to 53.0 Mbps projected in 2021, allowing internet users to access many online services such as video viewing that should represent 82% of the total IP traffic in 2021.

The challenge for Internet Service Providers implementing public hotspots will be to deploy better WiFi network infrastructures while dealing with the increasing number of personal devices and number of concurrent users together with the high demand for bandwidth.

Tanaza developed the Access Point Selector to help network administrators when deploying WiFi infrastructures. This free tool allows professionals to select the right model of hardware based on a WiFi project (taking into consideration the type of location, the coverage area and the usage of the network). Many of WiFi professionals relied on the Access Point Selector for their WiFi deployment and took advantage of the Tanaza multi-vendor aspect to increase their business opportunities. 

We selected only a few of the statistics that grabbed our attention, but if you want more information about the global IP traffic in 2016-2021, you can read the original article by clicking here.

About Facebook, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and WiFi apps using Facebook Login

How many wireless devices can you connect to one WiFi router

 

Facebook recently announced restrictions on data usage by third party applications, including WiFi applications using Facebook Login.

 

​On 21st March 2018 Mark Zuckerberg shared a post about the Cambridge Analytica scandal (read it here).

He reassured Facebook users’ about how their personal data are treated and, basically, took ​the blame for not protecting personal data as users would expect Facebook to do.

At the same time, he announced some future “restrictions” on data usage by third-party applications, like the ones used by Tanaza and its partners to allow Facebook Login to WiFi networks.

Unfortunately, the first restrictions were applied overnight without any previous communication to app developers.
From our own analysis, Facebook now requests developers to provide https URLs in applications. An alert appears, informing users that they are not forced to activate this option immediately, but they might be in the future.

Tanaza login applications for WiFi access to Facebook are perfectly working and no downtime has been registered on our systems due to the recent changes made by Facebook. However, some of our white label customers might experience issues or might receive alerts in relations to their login apps: we have already studied all the alerts shown in the Facebook Developers platform and described them in our article, with suggestions about what to do if you’re using Tanaza with Facebook login as a White Label Partner.

Other changes might possibly happen in the next weeks, as announced by Zuckerberg himself. We’ll keep you posted during the next days and weeks in relation to any changes happening within the Facebook Developers platform that might affect your systems.

For any questions, please drop an email to success@tanaza.com and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.