The “Captive” Portal to a Smart City
In the old days, when first arriving to a big city, one would buy a map and look for the tourist information helpdesk… but now, the first thing one does is to look for a magical Captive Portal to connect to the city’s network!
Almost every big city has its own municipal Wi-Fi network, and even some small cities are catching up to the trend.
All around the world there is an increasing number of what is called “Smart Cities”, a relatively recent concept which represents those cities that incorporate a variety of information and communication technologies as a means of improving the use of their resources, such as energy and transportation.
The technology which captures most the attention of the regular person when living or visiting one of these Smart Cities is the one that allows them to immediately check their social networks, email and mobile games for free. There is, however, some differences between most of these free Wi-Fi networks to which you can connect on Smart Cities and your home router. The main difference is the “middle-man” between the connection to the Wi-Fi network and starting to check your followers on Instagram: The Captive Portal, or by other words a Cloud Authentication System.
When you connect to the city’s, the bus’s or the hotel’s Wi-Fi, there are many occasions where a special page will pop, requiring you to accept some terms and conditions or maybe enter some personal information or even make some kind of payment to continue accessing that network. That is a Captive Portal and most free networks created in a Smart City use it, and there are good reasons for it: the creation of a direct communication line between the provider and the user as well the safety of both by ensuring the user takes responsibility for their use of the network.
How can the user and the provider benefit from Cloud Authentication Systems?
CAS (cloud authentication system) is becoming crucial to every city or business that wishes to provide quality services and create an immediate positive connection with their users. A captive portal to a Wi-Fi network on the bus or in a city will allow the user to get news and updates about the current state of transportation in that city, or when in a hotel the user may receive that day’s menu or a newsletter describing the hotel’s activities for the day.
From the provider/manager’s perspective, by incorporating a captive portal will allow the user’s connectivity experiences and consumptions to be monitored. A transportation company may also monitor their vehicles positioning and stats like time until the next stop, and a hotel may more easily monetize their Wi-Fi network by including in the captive portal a payment requirement. We invite you to discover how all of this works together by exploring our case studies in the end of this page.
From the user experience, when someone is trying to connect to a free network, they will maybe find annoying that probably cannot access every and any website or that they have to enter some personal information to go through an extra step to be able to access the social network of their choosing, but at end of the day the incorporation of cloud authentication systems in public networks will create a connection between user and provider which will ultimately guarantee a quality service.
By the end of the day, adding cloud authentication systems in public networks will create a connection between user and provider which will ultimately guarantee a quality service.
Nowadays, companies need solutions that meet their customer needs, but also outcomes that bring them information about these. The benefits are many – promoting services, events, local trade; monetize the WI-FI; develop quality surveys; communicate with users and many others… while having absolute control of the network (ensuring user and usage analytics/reporting)!
Let’s get “smart” together!
CAS & Wireless Specialist
Sun Evo Tech