Nortel and University of Wollongong create Australia’s first secure wireless network

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Nortel Networks and the University of Wollongong are creating Australia’s first secure wireless campus – a private networking showcase and test bed for broadband wireless local area network (LAN) and Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN).

The university’s new CampusNet wireless network will allow secure, untethered use of laptops and mobiles by students, faculty and staff, as well as by scientists from the Nortel Networks Technology Centre on the campus.

The A$500,000 network will allow users to browse the Internet, send and receive e-mail, access stored documents, use databases and interactive applications, and print documents remotely, all at high data rates via wireless LAN access points in public areas. These include the university’s library, lecture theatres, food hall, common areas and campus parkland.

“Within a few years, when higher bandwidth wireless networks become more prevalent, wireless Internet is envisioned to become a ‘must-have’ resource. CampusNet will bring the same ‘anytime, anywhere’ high bandwidth wireless access and freedom to students and researchers now,” said J.B. Clarke, director of the Nortel Networks Technology Centre in Wollongong.

“CampusNet will also serve as an important test bed for our broadband Wireless Internet technology,”continued Clarke. “Broadband wireless data access is going to play a significant role in the high-performance public Internet of the future and will likely change our lives in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. CampusNet will allow us to gather further information on how and where real people will use this technology. Also, this experience will better prepare the students and scientists using CampusNet for an exciting future.”

“CampusNet will significantly support the university’s R&D into wireless networks and ‘smart’ Internet technology, enhance student exposure to the latest information technology, and enable flexible course content delivery mechanisms to be employed within the traditional ‘lecture’ framework,” said Professor Gerard Sutton, vice-chancellor of the University of Wollongong. “It will also reduce the reliance on existing computer labs by allowing students to work anywhere on campus, and by providing a means for temporary access to the university network during special programs and events.”

“CampusNet provides a unique opportunity for Nortel Networks to develop and test innovative networking technologies over a live network,” said Reg Bird, president, Service Provider Solutions for Nortel Networks in Australia and New Zealand. “CampusNet users will be able to take advantage of cutting-edge applications and technologies, while the network will serve as the ideal platform for future collaborative R&D efforts by both the University of Wollongong and Nortel Networks.”

At the heart of CampusNet is Nortel Networks wireless LAN technology. The IEEE standards compliant wireless LAN uses sophisticated spread spectrum radios to provide a high-speed, reliable, seamless and secure wireless extension of the university’s existing network, allowing users to stay connected as they move about the campus or surf the Internet while sitting outside under a tree. Each of the LAN’s access point base stations has a typical wireless range of 200 to 300 feet inside buildings and up to 2,000 feet in the open. Network capacity can be increased at any time by the addition of extra access points, with no disruption to service.

CampusNet will offer a level of security normally associated only with private networks. The Nortel Networks IP VPN solution can reduce the cost of providing wireless network access to remote users by 40-70%

The Nortel Networks Contivity Extranet Switch will be used to integrate the VPN technologies – such as routing, firewall, bandwidth management, encryption, authentication and data integrity – on to a single platform for secured ‘tunnelling’ across the Internet.

Nortel Networks has been conducting R&D programs at the University of Wollongong for more than ten years. In June, a new A$4 million (US$2.3 million) Technology Centre was established, capable of housing up to 160 researchers, engineers and support personnel. Current R&D programs cover wireless access, optical networks, advanced IP, telephony and data networks for enterprises.

CampusNet is a joint collaboration of Nortel Networks, the University’s Information Technology Services and its Telecommunications and Information Technology Research Institute.

Nortel Networks is a global Internet and communications company with capabilities spanning optical, wireless, local internet and e-business. The Company had 1999 U.S. GAAP revenues of US$21.3 billion and serves carrier, service provider and enterprise customers globally.

Nortel Networks

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