Las Palmas, Gran Canaria deploys municipal Wi-Fi mesh network

Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), the 9th largest city in Spain, has rolled out the first phase of a municipal wireless network using Tropos equipment. The city’s vision is for a citywide network that will eventually cover 17 square kilometers and deliver reliable and economical Internet access services to citizens and businesses in addition to using it for a broad range of municipal applications. Gran Canaria and the other Canary Island are popular holiday places for Spanish and foreign visitors.

The initial phase of the network is complete and delivers free public Internet access (broadband limited to 256kb) to residents, tourists and local businesses in 16 hot spots around the city. The hot spot locations include public areas such as city parks, beaches, and town centers. The network was designed to meet with legal requirements of CMT (Telecommunications Market Commission).

“The City Council of Las Palmas is very excited about being able to offer a wireless broadband network to its citizens.  High-speed broadband is not available in many areas and is very expensive today,” said David Centeno Casanova, director of engineering and innovation for MEDITERRANEA DE TECNOLOGIAS. “The Tropos network will offer an affordable alternative to the community, enabling more citizens to become part of the digital age.”

The business model for the Last Palmas network is unique and represents a public-private partnership that provides a win-win for the city and entire community.  The network is owned by the city and they have contracted with a well-established local system integrator, MEDITERRANEA DE TECNOLOGIAS, to provide network operations and support services over the next four years without any additional cost to the city.  Also part of the revenues for fee-based services will be used to expand the network to reach more citizens.

In addition to use of the network for public Internet access, the city plans to leverage the same wireless network for a range of city services, improving efficiencies.  Public services being considered include mobile public safety, automated parking meters, and traffic light management.

“The city of Las Palmas is building a foundation for the future that will provide long-term benefits for its citizens and the economy,” said Tom Ayers, president of Tropos Networks.  “With our other customers, we have seen affordable wireless broadband make a significant difference in quality of life.  I applaud the vision of the city council and MEDITERRANEA  DE TECNOLOGIAS in taking this first step and we look forward to continuing to help in building and supporting their vision.”