Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort in Morocco Goes Wireless with Altai Super WiFi
The Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort in Morocco, a member of Preferred Hotels, went wireless with Altai’s Super WiFi Solution this past February.
Sigmatel, the leading system integrator in MENA region, was responsible for deploying the Altai Super WiFi Solution in the resort. The Altai A8 Super WiFi Base Station was installed in the golf area for large area coverage while the A3 Smart WiFi’s were installed around the guest apartments for local coverage. The wireless network covers every corner of the resort. Hotel guests, golf players and hotel staff can stay connected via the internet no matter where they are.
The Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort is located in Marrakech of Morocco. It is surrounded by a beautiful 18-hole golf course with 312 guest rooms.
Modern Terminals Deploys Altai Super WiFi in All its Hong Kong Terminals
Modern Terminals, the first purpose-built container terminal in Hong Kong, has selected Altai’s Super WiFi Solution to enable its new free WiFi service. Being the first container terminal operator to deploy WiFi technology in all its Terminals 1, 2, 5 and 9, Modern Terminals allows customers’ vessels berthing alongside to enjoy internet connections free of charge.
Modern Terminals understands shipping lines’ increasing need for an efficient and cost-effective communication solution to operate the vessels when berthing at the terminals. It conducted a pilot project with Altai’s Super WiFi with very positive feedback. That resulted in a full-scale roll out of the system to cover all yard areas and provide Internet connectivity for vessels alongside, free of charge.
Altai Technologies Participated the HKUST’s Career Day
Altai Technologies participated in the Career Day organized by the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (“HKUST”) on March 3.
Dr. Bill Wong, CTO of Altai conducted a career talk in the lecture theater and introduced the company’s background and latest market developments, as well as the job openings for the engineering students. At our booth we showcased our Super WiFi equipment and provided a venue for student enquiries. As Altai is one of the very few home-grown telecom vendors in Hong Kong with outstanding achievements, we received a overwhelming response from the students and we shortlisted some of them to attend our on-site job interview.
The HKUST Career Day was Altai’s first career talk in 2010 and we are going to participate at another one in the Chinese University of Hong Kong in April.
A3: The Hotspot in a Box
The Altai A3 has successfully demonstrated full interoperability with the AAA (authentication, authorization and accounting) system of a major hotspot operator through a 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G network. This is an important milestone for both parties, as it opens tremendous opportunities for the mobile hotspot in a box application, especially in the transportation market segment.
Two key features of the A3 stand out for this effort: the support of USB based 3G dongles, and the built-in smart ACS (Access Control System).
The support of USB based 3G dongles allow the A3 to create a backhaul connection anywhere there is 3G coverage, providing high speed broadband Internet access to hotspot users. The built-in smart ACS allows the A3 to be easily deployed and integrated with any back-end AAA system.
Traditionally, hotspot operators either deploy AAA locally or in a centralized fashion. Local AAA is where all AAA functionality takes place within the individual AP, or in a service controller that consolidates AAA functions for multiple APs in a single venue. This model provides very simple installation, setup, and maintenance but usually limits how the operator can sell the services as well as the possibility of roaming between venues. The centralized AAA consolidates all AAA functions for multiple venues in a central data centre. This model is typically used by WISPs (wireless Internet service providers) that have centralized Internet access. All outbound and inbound traffic for end users in each venue needs to pass through the data centre before being routed to its final destination. A VPN is usually used to connect each venue and the data center. The smart ACS of the A3, on the other hand, allows each venue to take advantage of cheap broadband Internet access (there is no need for VPN) while still centralizing core features to easily manage multiple venues.
Our partner specifically designs the authentication process for usability and security. When a user opens a web page, he or she is immediately redirected to our partner’s external HTTP portal login page by the smart ACS. This page handles user login and all transactions and purchases. After login/purchase, the customer is redirected using HTTP to A3’s captive portal with a ’one time password’.
The A3 captive portal then authenticates the session with a RADIUS server in our partner’s data centre. Session parameters such as session timeout, idle timeout, data limit, uplink bandwidth limit and downlink bandwidth limit of the user are communicated to the A3. Finally, the user is redirected to a success page and then he or she can browse the Internet.
The session parameters can be configured based on requirements, and especially in the case of a hotspot with 3G backhaul, the data limit and bandwidth limits are crucial for both operator and users.
At the end of the session, the customer will logout through a Logout button, which stops the record for accounting, and ends the session on the captive portal, including a logoff screen presented to the customer.
Since the ACS configuration needs to be managed remotely, this presents a significant challenge as the A3s are inside the 3G network, which is usually a private network. The approach used to work around the private network limitation is to have the A3 initiate a regular configuration file download from a centralized server.
Altai 3G Mobile Data Offload Solution
Telecom analysts and mobile operators throughout the world have reported a surge of mobile data traffic in the last two years and it is predicted that, from 2008 to 2013, global mobile data network traffic will grow more than 15X.
Moving towards 4G/LTE or expanding the existing 3G data network can no longer meet the immediate demand on mobile data because both will take years to build. After detailed analysis, Tier 1 mobile operators including AT&T, O2 UK, China Mobile and China Telecom have found that offloading their traffic from their mobile data network to a WiFi network is a cost effective solution, whether their mobile networks are already overloaded or not.
The cost effectiveness of 3G offloading to WiFi includes a 10X increase in data throughput and savings in time and cost as shown in the diagram and comparison table below:
Double of Altai’s
Half of 3G
Requires new site acquisition and rental each US$5-20K per year
Collocate at existing sites, no significant new cost
Requires new setup for tower and backhaul
Sharing existing post, power supply and Internet backhaul
Requires frequency reuse and covering planning, may alter existing sites
No changes to existing network. Separate free spectrum
Time of Deployment
Long time for site acquisition, may take years
High initial cost, high cost to retract due to site contract
Easily install or dismantle. Start with sites where 3G data traffic is high
WiFi equipment for offloading 3G traffic in urban environment should have the following features that Altai fully complies to:
Long range – provide wide area coverage over the hotzone outdoor areas
High throughput at range – on average can support higher throughput applications
High user capacity – as distribution of user is most likely uneven, it must support a transient crowd of users
Better interference mitigation – can collocate with cellular base station equipment
Causes Less interference – it should not influence the cellular base station equipment that it collocates with
Fast and flexible installation – the coverage cell shape can be easily adjusted in the field, the configuration should be simple and can be done in large scale for fast rollout