Free Wi-Fi Connection Becomes Available to Skiers in Val Thorens Through Aerohive Wireless LAN
Apr 16, 2012 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) --
Aerohive Networks, a provider of controller-less Wi-Fi and cloud-enabled networking, announced that Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe, has deployed Aerohive's WLAN solution at its ski lifts.
Implemented by IT partners Soluceo and Scientific Equipment, the WLAN provides free Wi-Fi access to skiers and visitors to the resort.
According to a release, Val Thorens is part of the largest ski area in the world, The 3 Valleys. More than 70 percent of its visitors are foreign tourists, many of whom bring mobile devices to the resort and expect to access email and social networks.
The resort had a Wi-Fi network for internal administrative use, but wanted to expand the network to offer skiers and visitors internet access on the slopes. In doing so, tourists can use free Wi-Fi rather than incur expensive 3G roaming costs. The existing Wi-Fi network was difficult to administer: Val Thorens' IT team needed a centralised solution that could be remotely managed, and was cost-effective to deploy.
Val Thorens consulted its IT service provider, Soluceo, which recommended two WLAN solutions, one of which was Aerohive. Of particular interest to the IT team was Aerohive's Cooperative Control architecture; its access points automatically create mesh network connections to recover from component failures without the need to deploy redundant systems, all while keeping the network wireless. For a ski resort, this helps the IT team to maintain Wi-Fi availability with minimal effort.
A pilot of the technology was deployed by reseller Scientific Equipment in December 2010, followed by a full roll-out to all ski lifts in November 2011. The solution includes the HiveManager Virtual Management Appliance on VMware and HiveAP340s. It also supports Val Thoren's Netinary internet control application.
With Aerohive, in contrast to the old network, after initial configuration, deployment takes only 15 minutes for each new HiveAP and any modifications can be carried out remotely via centralised administration software. It is this aspect that makes rapid response possible regardless of the weather conditions, a fact that is much appreciated by Val Thoren's IT team.
"We want to offer visitors the best services to facilitate their stay in the resort. We are anticipating their needs by offering them access to Wi-Fi on the ski lifts," said Eric Bonnel, Sales and Marketing Director of ski lift company SETAM.
"Thanks to its easy deployment and use, we can anticipate future upgrades to our solution with no additional investment," said Elvis Hudry, SETAM Networks and Systems Administrator, who is in charge of the project.
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