Wi-Fi 6 access for passengers at São Paulo International

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The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced that travelers, employees and retailers at Brazil’s São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) are now able to access what is claimed to be the world’s first at-airport Wi-Fi 6 network using OpenRoaming. OpenRoaming provides secure, automatic, friction-free access to a Cisco-powered network that is managed by Boingo.

Passengers and airport employees will no longer have to log in to public wi-fi networks repeatedly. Instead of re-registering or re-entering log-in credentials, GRU users will enjoy the convenience of instant network access matched with enterprise-grade security. When coupled with the Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure, OpenRoaming also helps provide a carrier-grade wi-fi experience.

Boingo designed, installed and manages the GRU network, which was reportedly the world’s first airport Wi-Fi 6 network when it launched in October 2020. Travelers have up to four hours of free access, including from their older-generation wi-fi devices, thanks to the system’s backward compatibility.

The 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, enabling them to use Wi-Fi 6 to maximize productivity and responsiveness to passengers. Different OpenRoaming identities are used to separate automatic access for GRU employees versus guests.

“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.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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