Wireless access for students and teachers

Education on the way

SURFnet (Dutch institute for ICT-based innovation in higher education and research) wanted more insight in the need for wireless networks in higher education. Envolve carried out a study which eventually led to an attractive offer regarding mobile data subscriptions for students via SURFspot.nl, a Dutch web shop for students.

Wireless access for educational institutes
The study was prompted by the great number of citywide WiFi-initiatives, both at home and abroad. The idea was to provide an incentive to create these facilities in university towns in the Netherlands. Would this contribute to innovation in education? What were the needs of the target group? How about feasibility? Who would want to take the lead?

Our mission
In 2009, Envolve investigated existing cases and solutions, market parties' visions regarding possible solutions, and expected users' needs.

The result
We concluded that existing solutions generally fulfil the needs. We found no hard evidence supporting the need for citywide WiFi-networks, however. This functionality is desired, that is true, but there are alternatives. The city is crowded with WiFi hotspots, and mobile data subscriptions may offer a way out if no WiFi is available. Our advice was to provide an incentive for wireless educational applications, but not to run ahead of things.

Attractive market supply
Based on these outcomes, SURFdiensten asked Envolve to contact providers of mobile data subscriptions. Would they be prepared to make an attractive offer for educational institutes? Absolutely! The result of our negotiations was that teachers and students received an almost 80% discount on popular mobile data subscriptions, through SURFspot.