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Dublin to see 150 free Wifi access points from Liberty’s Virgin Media

Jamie Cudden Dublin.jpg

The city of Dublin is planning to install 150 access points across the city for free OpenRoaming Wifi, after a successful trial.

The Irish capital and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) said they have had a successful proof-of-concept of the technology, which allows people to log in only once and then maintain seamless connectivity.

Jamie Cudden (pictured) who leads Dublin’s smart city project, said: “Dublin is at the forefront of a digital transformation that is serving as a model for other municipalities across Ireland and the world.”

The trial took place in three locations close to City Hall and Dublin Castle, with the assistance of the WBA and Virgin Media, as well as participation from infrastructure maker CommScope.

Unlike Virgin Media UK, which has merged with Telefónica’s O2, Virgin Media Ireland is still owned 100% by US-based Liberty Global, which has however been reported to be looking for a buyer. Virgin Media Ireland offers mobile services on Three Ireland’s infrastructure, but does not have its own mobile network.

Aidan Darcy, VP of business and wholesale at Virgin Media Ireland, said: “We are able to offer cutting-edge broadband speeds and an exceptional Wifi experience for residents and tourists availing of the new Dublin city Wifi zones.”

Cudden said: “Collaborations like this are key to the delivery of convenient, reliable and ubiquitous connectivity which is critical for achieving our smart city goals such as closing the digital divide and ensuring that government is responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses.”

Dublin, with a population of more than 2 million, is expected to grow to 2.2 million by 2031. It houses 30% of the country’s working population and attracts over 6.6 million overseas visitors a year.

The technology will connect smartphones, tablets and other Wifi devices automatically as people move around the city.

OpenRoaming is now available at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, said the WBA, freeing users from the need to constantly re-register or re-enter log-in credentials. The WBA OpenRoaming standard also enables enterprises, device OEMs, service providers and others to provide performance guarantees.

The WBA calls this “a carrier-grade experience as users roam between different public Wifi venues”.