Flux Research Group / School of Computing

Enabling WiFi in Open Access Networks

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Shamik Sarkar, Christopher Becker, Josh Kunz, Aarushi Sarbhai, Gurupragaash Annasamymani, Sneha Kumar Kasera, and Jacobus (Kobus) Van der Merwe

ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Wireless 2017.

Networking, Virtualization


The idea of open access networks is gradually becoming a reality with a large number of municipalities and communities deploying their own open network. In the open access network model, the municipality/community can act as the network operator and a multitude of services can be provided to the end users over the deployed infrastructure. In this age of wireless networks and mobile users, WiFi must also be an integral part of the open access network. We discuss the need for designing WiFi from the point of view of open access networks. We identify the aspects of WiFi that need to be modified and the challenges that arise due to these modifications. We address these challenges by presenting a simple, yet novel design for enabling WiFi in open access networks using SDN and access point virtualization. Ours is the first attempt towards integrating open access networks and WiFi. We implement a preliminary prototype of our design in the Emulab test bed and successfully verify its operation.