Canary Wharf gets major Wi-Fi speed boost

(Image credit: Pixabay)

London's business heartland is set for a connectivity boost after Cisco announced it will be trialling the first ever commercial rollout of OpenRoaming in Canary Wharf.

OpenRoaming is a frictionless Wi-Fi network that allows users to move from one hotspot to another with just one user identity authentication, usually performed by a mobile operator. This allows for seamless connectivity and security across an OpenRoaming environment.

The technology has been used in Orkney to give residents and businesses access to superfast broadband, but this is the first time it has been used in a business setting, with Cisco saying the technology will improve connectivity for businesses, workers and visitors to the area.

OpenRoaming Canary Wharf

The advantages are myriad, with end users benefitting from faster speeds, a more reliable connection indoors, and lower battery consumption. On the other hand, businesses can enjoy enhanced productivity and rollout new applications - for example, Wi-Fi can be used to provide location services to shoppers seeking a retailer, or to a project team looking for a meeting room.

Mobile operators also benefit from the ability to offload cellular traffic to wireless networks.

The Canary Wharf installation uses Wi-Fi 6 technology and could see wireless speeds increase by up to four times. The estate covers 17 million square feet of office and retail space and the use of OpenRoaming could allow landlords see how physical space is used, allowing for the more efficient use of space.

Canary Wharf’s efforts to improve connectivity have also seen it work with mobile operators on 5G rollouts.

“For the real estate industry, next generation connectivity is a critical utility. Extending the value of our services well beyond office space, our customers are demanding access to world-class digital infrastructure and connectivity,” said Sir George Iacobesco, Executive Chairman, Canary Wharf Group.

“Secure connectivity is fundamental to the UK’s growth, and with best-in class Wi-Fi, as well as the seamless experience of OpenRoaming, Canary Wharf Group is providing the foundation for businesses to benefit from the digital economy,” added Scot Gardner, Cisco UK & Ireland CEO.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.