Wi-Fi access a Mega success in Mecca for Hajj

Written By Haruna S. Abdulrazak

This week as millions of Muslims make their way back from pilgrimage to Mecca for the Hajj, they would have been the first pilgrims to not only have had access to the ancient Kaaba, ZamZam Well, and plains of Mount Arafat, but also access to free broadband Wi-Fi.

The internet has helped the millions of pilgrims to stay connected and ‘online’ thanks to a temporary Wi-Fi network covering most parts of the city. This is the first year that the Hajj, a pilgrimage required of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford it at least once in their lifetimes, is supported by free broadband Wi-Fi. However, visitors simply had to register to have used the free service.

The Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, lasts for a week and is concluded with the celebration of the four day global festival of Eid ul Adha that are already under way. Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission appointed a local Internet service provider (ISP), Bayanat Al-Oula, to provide the temporary network.

Aptilo and Tropos networks are both working with Bayanat Al-Oula to manage the temporary deployment of the the metro Wi-Fi network deployed in the City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia consisting of more than 70 Access Points.

The Aptilo Service Management Platform is operated off-site, from one of Aptilo’s Network Operations Centers (NOCs), while the Aptilo Access Controller is physically on-site to oversee access- and QoS control. The controller works together with the Wi-Fi mesh network from Tropos Networks, the market leader in delivering metro-scale wireless IP mesh networks.

The network took roughly two months to put in place, but will be disassembled sometime after the Muslims, particularly the
pilgrims celebrate the four day global festival of Eid ul-Adha. Millions of pilgrims will make their way to Mecca this year, many of whom bring their wireless devices, laptops etc. This installment leverages Aptilo’s rapid deployment capabilities in a scalable platform that can adapt to a larger audience of users should the need arise. We are honored to be a part of
this event, offering broadband wireless Internet access to the City of Mecca for this important occasion.

 said Torbjorn Ward, Chief Executive Office and Co-Founder, Aptilo Networks in a press release. We hope everyone had a great Eid Mubarak!

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