Schools choose Meru for wireless

Meru Networks has landed wireless deals with more than 70 educational institutions in recent months, including a deployment in Philadelphia’s School of the Future project.

The company, which provides wireless local-area network infrastructure solutions, has delivered its technology to 42 universities and colleges and 28 K-12 school districts, according to Meru. The schools use WLANs for Internet access, educational applications and instructional tools.

Recently announced deployments include the School of the Future project, a partnership between Philadelphia’s school district and Microsoft; Cedarville University in Ohio; Hilton Central School District in New York; Mona Shores Public School District in Michigan; and Rush-Henrietta Central School District in New York.

Ihab Abu-Hakima, Meru’s president and chief executive officer, said deployments in the past 12 months span about 500 schools and 1 million students. The school installations represent a second wave of wireless adoption, he added.

“What we have noticed in the last year is a steadily increasing number of educational institutions that have made a decision…to deploy wireless so it is almost a pervasive utility,” Abu-Hakima said.

He said that is a significant change compared with first-generation deployments in which coverage was limited to particular buildings.

Abu-Hakima cited “an intensive focus on re-engineering the educational process” as one driver behind the expanded wireless push. “As part of this re-engineering, there is an expectation that mobility will be central to being able to implement these new processes.”

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