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Building a mixed bandwidth wireless infrastructure around Bristol.

The bottom line actions are:

If you don't recognise these I may have made them up in the excitement of the meeting but they look like a likely bunch of actions given the notes.

The goal of the meeting was to create a plan to install a wireless infrastructure around Bristol that could be used to support the development and testing of wearable and wireless e-service ideas.


We decided that it would be sensible/feasible to grow the area covered by 802.11 base stations as the project matured starting with a small footprint of social hotspots around the university and @Bristol. We need a map to show the areas to be covered and we need to understand the coverage characteristics of the initial target areas to know what the profile of base station distribution will be. Our initial thoughts were that we would be starting with somewhere between 10 and 20 base stations.

We had some discussion about connecting the base stations to the university's wired infrastructure and David pointed out that the BCTN cableran from the centre of town out to the downs via the university and Whiteladies Rd. The distribution of university buildings around the area we intend to cover also makes the connection of the base stations into the wired network simple.

The initial list of places to cover would eventually be determined by interviewing student to identify social hotspots but out 1st pass list was:


A brainstorming of applications dug up some new thoughts and some old chestnuts, all worthy of trying out once the infrastructure is in place. Two main categories were suggested; Student Need and Public Need. I think the former was extended to University Need meaning anyone who works or visits the university. The brainstormed list of application areas was:


We need to:

  1. interview students about social hotspots
  2. know how well .11 performs at the locations we have identified.
  3. determine how many base stations and their locations
  4. identify routes into the university network
  5. buy the cards and base stations
  6. buy the Jornadas (next gen 548s or 720s?)
  7. enlist students to help install the base stations
  8. install .11 apps server(s)
  9. recruit students to carry out final year and other projects (Oct/Nov for final year thoughts on projects)
  10. enlist @Bristol for support and brainstorming @Bristol ideas (not the 10th item but can be parallel strand)
  11. enlist GPRS service provider (again needs to be done early but not a showstopper for hotspot infrastructure)
  12. sort out who is paying for what (should be done early but not necessary to get started)

Technology Research questions:

One last note:

Henk and Cliff are getting the .11 cards and base station to map the coverage in the MVB. We in HP need to see if we can supply them with a 720 or earlier Jornada to plug the cards into. Various people are away next week so normal service will resume the week of 23rd April.


Phil S. 11th April 2001

This page last updated June 27, 2002
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