The ASX-listed WiFi company Skyfii is expanding beyond shopping centres and into universities, announcing it has signed an agreement with the UK’s Durham University to roll out its data analytics service, IO Insight, across the university.
A partnership with Aruba Networks and UK Channel Partner Pervasive Networks will see over 2,800 WiFi access points installed across the campus, with Aruba’s Analytics and Location Engine platform to then drive data to Skyfii’s IO Insight tool.
Through the use of IO Insight, Durham University will get real-time insight on visitor behaviour and venue performance, with the platform allowing the university to monitor movement across campus, dwell time, and visit rate.
Through this, Skyfii states that the university can minimise congestion and student traffic, allowing it to optimise timetables to make the best use of campus facilities, such as lecture theatres, labs, and even parking if the university should choose to filter such data into a campus app.
Paul Featherstone, CIO of Durham University, said that the university’s vision is to turn Durham into a smart city.
“Anyone who attends or has been here knows that the university is the beating heart of the town, and using technology in this way will benefit the entire community. Using Skyfii’s WiFi and data analytics services will see us deliver a better service provision and engagement with our students, staff, and curriculum, and this partnership speaks to that,” he said.
Wayne Arthur, CEO of Skyfii, said given the competitiveness of the education sector, leveraging technology in this way can give universities an edge.
“Internet consumption by students and community has grown substantially in recent years. Providing free WiFi to those stakeholder groups enables Durham University the opportunity to service a need, while capturing important metrics, such as geographic location and foot traffic,” he said.
“We know from our work in retail environments that analysing this data can deliver huge improvements for things like town planning and schedule creation. It can also drive innovation through business cases supported by proper data.”
The move into the education sector follows the signing of a deal with Waverley Council late last year to provide free WiFi across Bondi, including at Tamarama, Bronte, and Bondi beaches. The deal was the company’s first expansion into the council sector.
The company also announced a partnership with Ohio telco Cincinnati Bell last year. Through this it will provide guest WiFi analytics and marketing engagement services for the telco’s growing network of free WiFi venues throughout the greater Cincinnati area.
Image: Wayne Arthur. Source: Skyfii.