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Wireless technical information

The UIS can provide access points (APs) to departments and to Colleges and other institutions interested in renting them. These APs are centrally managed by the UIS and will broadcast the UniOfCam & eduroam services. There are also options for broadcasting locally authenticated wireless services from the UIS APs.

Departments can apply for APs (that have their annual rental charge reduced to zero) at the discretion of the Wireless Team, who may request a survey be carried out first. Every department is given a allocation of APs deemed appropriate for its needs. If a department requires more APs than is allocated to it at the this is at discretion of the Wireless Team who manage the Wireless Service budget.

Colleges, and other institutions not eligable for the CHEST funded APs, are welcome to rent APs from the UIS. Each AP has an annual rental charge associated with it, which reflects the cost recovery of the AP and other essential wireless infrastructure.

There are no upfront setup or installation costs for the APs (other than any local wiring required by the customer).

Access point five-year lifecycle

The rental charge provides the UIS with a mechanism to recover the capital expenditure cost of the APs over a period of 5 years. This also enables the APs to be provided to institutions with no upfront purchase costs.

At any time during those 5 years the UIS may choose to upgrade a particular model of AP with a suitable, more modern equivalent, at no cost to the customer institution. This will be done if a model of AP reaches end-of-life or fails to meet a minimum specification. For example, AP-105s. A sensible notice period will be provided by the UIS and there is also the opportunity for a customer to discuss possible changes to their AP deployment.

The UIS will endeavour to provide a replacment AP that meets the requirements of the original - such as radio types, wireless speeds, coverage and fixings (wall or ceiling mounted).

Early AP upgrades

During the normal 5 year lifecycle, an institution may wish to upgrade some APs in advance of the normal replacement schedule. They may wish to take advantage of new technologies or changing requirements.

This can be arranged but the UIS is obliged to apply a restocking charge on each AP returned earlier than the normal 5 years. This charge will cover the shortfall, of the returned AP, such that the UIS does not incur a financial loss.

The charge is calculated as follows:

Current replacement cost of AP x (5 – Number of years in use) / 5

i.e. for each year less than 5, the institution will be charged one fifth of the cost of the AP.

Lost access points

Please be aware that the rented APs remain the property of the UIS. If an AP breaks due to an internal fault, we can usually replace it at no charge. If an AP is broken by accidental damage or is lost, then the institution renting the AP will be charged a replacement cost.

The replacement cost is based upon the current price of the AP and also the age of the AP that needs replacing - older APs will have a lower replacement charge.

UIS policy on the use of leaky feeders

The UIS does not recommend 'leaky feeders' (LFs) as a viable solution for providing wireless services on APs provided by the UIS. Therefore any use of a LF with UIS provided APs is unsupported by the UIS.

However, if an institution does choose to attach a LF to a suitable AP, they are free to do so. The UIS will configure the appropriate antenna gain parameters on the AP as a good-will gesture. Note that this is an initial installation step, it is not a commitment to regular configuration changes in the event of service quality issues. The UIS will not troubleshoot any technical problems arising from use of a LF, for example investigating signal strength or performance issues.

Last modified: September 2020

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