Barcelona Wireless Sensor/3G Network

Barcelona Wireless Sensor/3G Network map

The city of Barcelona (1.5M population) is having a wide WiFi network in public areas (http://www.bcn.cat/barcelonawifi/en/). The network itself allows two types of services: internal services for municipality workers (police, maintaining services, surveillance cameras, etc.) and open services for citizens and travelers. This network is a suitable platform for interconnecting existing sensor networks providing a broad set of real-time measurements ranging from simple temperature and weather/pollution conditions to indirect traffic measurements among them.

The opportunity of deploying a public-sector open data solution to publish this information in a secure, standardized and trustable way on top of it would contribute to the different innovation drivers in the city.

Barcelona WiFi is Barcelona City Council service that allows you to connect to the Internet through WiFi Access points, or hotspots, located in various municipal amenities. It can be defined as a service that lets its users carry out simple browsing on the Internet and to that end it only enables access to content through a regular browser. This service also allows public access to City Council information and online processing. The City Council provides the Barcelona WiFi Service with the aim of encouraging city access to the Internet and helping the public incorporate technology into their daily lives. To access the Barcelona WiFi Service from any municipal amenity provided with the Service, the only thing users need to have is an IT device (a laptop, PDA, mobile telephone, etc.) with a wireless connection.

The model used to deploy the network has been research with UPF [1]([1-5]) and allows a natural expansion of the networks with simple interconnection agreements and allowing full traffic interchange. This model allows a merging of WiFi networks that is now covering the most crowded parts of the city reaching the potential users over to 1M in an urban environment. The full control of the network builds this infrastructure as an ideal scenario for Living labs experimentation, reporting all technical data for user tracking, pattern evaluation and report all the information required for business modeling and simulation.


  1. Barceló, J., A. Sfairopoulou, and B. Bellalta, "Wireless open metropolitan area networks", ACM SIGMOBILE Mobile Computing and Communications Review, vol. 12, issue 3: ACM New York, NY, USA, 07/2008.
  2. Infante, J., M. Oliver, and C. Macian, "Wi-Fi Neutral Operator: Promoting cooperation for network and service growth", ITS Conference on Regional Economic Development, Pontevedra, Spain, 07/2005.
  3. Marcian, C., J. Barcelo, A. Sfairopoulou, M. Oliver, and J. Infante, "Barcelona´s Open Access Network Testbed", IEEE TridentCom, Barcelona, Spain, 03/2006.
  4. Infante, J., M. Oliver, and C. Macian, "Neutral Networks: A real alternative to achieve both effective competition and social benefits?", ITS Conference on Regional Economic Development, Beijing, China, 06/2006.
  5. Infante, J., C. Macian, and M. Oliver, "Which way to a (judicious) municipal wireless network? An assessment of the different alternatives for municipal participation in wireless local networks", 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC): Virginia, USA, 09/2007.