by CIO Middle East Staff

Abu Dhabi launches next-generation WiFi to improve work productivity

Oct 08, 2019
Computers and PeripheralsGovernment ITWi-Fi

WiFi 6 will become the foundation of a Smart Digital Workspace initiative designed for a more efficient work environment through the use of emerging technologies such as AI or machine learning.

Ahmad Al Hammadi, IT Manager at Abu Dhabi Municipality with the team from HPE Aruba at GITEX Technol
Credit: HPE Aruba

Abu Dhabi Municipality, the municipal board responsible for providing services to the public and ensuring proper development planning in the capital of the UAE, said Tuesday that it has deployed WiFi 6 technology.

Released in September, WiFi 6 is the next-generation wireless standard that is faster than the previous 802.11ac, or WiFi 5. The new standard allows for higher tranmission  speeds and better performance in congested areas.

Abu Dhabi is using WiFi 6 technology from Aruba, a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Aruba’s 802.11ax AI-powered WiFi 6 solutions were selected for the deployment across Abu Dhabi Municipality’s headquarters and 35 branches across the city.

Enhancing productivity through technology

The new networking infrastructure lays the foundations for an Aruba-based Smart Digital Workplace initiative. Abu Dhabi will introduce a number of new applications designed to let employees use their smartphones to become more productive, leveraging a high-speed and secure wireless infrastructure as the foundation, according to a statement released during GITEX Tech Week.

One of these applications will allow employees to book meeting rooms on their smart devices, letting hird party suppliers who visit the municipality connect to the new network and transact business without having to go through authentication procedures. Citizens visiting four “customer happiness centres” in Abu Dhabi will also experience gigabit-speed browsing capabilities when connecting to the new wireless network.

The Smart Digital Workplace will also allow enhanced visitor check-ins where visitors in a building can check in and register on an interactive kiosk, obtain guest WiFi credentials, and use a smartphone as an access control key through a single unified workflow. Visitors and service personnel can be closely tracked in real-time if required for security reasons.

Since one of the core requisites for Abu Dhabi was security, the government agency automated security access control across its entire access network with Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager, and enforced the continuous analysis of Network Traffic and User and Entity Behaviour with the deployment of machine-learning technologies provided by one of the vendor’s threat detection platform.

“We understand that the future of work will be defined by smart work experiences enabled by the right technologies,” said Ahmad Al Hammadi, IT Manager at Abu Dhabi Municipality, in a statement.

“Our intention was to create a smart workplace that will enables creativity, collaboration, speed, and freedom. Our legacy networking infrastructure was a big hurdle in achieving this objective, with operational complexities and security issues, and hence we decided to work with HPE Aruba, a pioneer in the wireless networking space.”