Digitally Transforming Water Conservancy with Wi-Fi 6
Digital transformation is profoundly changing the ways we live and work, with governments globally accelerating the digital transformation of their public administration agencies. In 2020, Mexico — a frontrunner in the implementation of digital government — ranked third in Latin America on the very first Ibero-American GovTech Index (índice GovTech de Iberoamérica) jointly released by CAF — Development Bank of Latin America, and Oxford Insights, an organization that helps governments around the world to increase their impact.
Founded on January 16, 1989, the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) in Mexico — an administrative, technical advisory commission for Mexico's Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) — is responsible for hydrology monitoring and the construction of Mexico's water conservation facilities. Its main responsibilities are to manage and protect Mexico's water resources, prioritizing sustainable use. Additionally, CONAGUA has jurisdiction over the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN), the country's national weather organization, conducting comprehensive risk management. Overall, over its 31-year lifespan, CONAGUA has worked to construct water and sanitation facilities in Mexico, to provide a high quality of service for all residents.
The water conservancy industry has encountered ever-growing changes in the digital era, with services no longer able to meet demand, resulting in a range of challenges. The focus now falls firmly on how to apply the latest digital technologies, as well as develop and use water resources, including the collection, transmission, storage, processing, and use of water resource information. An additional challenge arises in terms of comprehensively improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of water resources.
To find a solution to these challenges, CONAGUA's latest national water plan — the Programa Nacional Hídrico (PNH) 2020-2024 — proposed new requirements for the modernization of Mexico's water conservancy efforts, with five special areas of emphasis: water conservancy construction, the sustainable development of water resources, flood and drought responses, hydrological service improvement, and the improvement of water governance. In collaboration with SMN, CONAGUA also launched a suite of innovative digital service applications, such as the Conagua Clima app, which informs people of local weather conditions and forecasts.
However innovative these initiatives are, they also brought significant challenges for CONAGUA's office network. The legacy network was built in 2014 and used Wi-Fi 4 technology. Predictably, outdated network technologies offering only limited network capacity couldn't meet the transmission and processing needs of a massive amount of data and new services in the digital era. As such, CONAGUA therefore decided to upgrade its office network in over 30 branches nationwide, to provide faster and more stable wireless networks for employees, as well as meet the increasing requirements of water conservancy services, laying a solid foundation for future service innovation.
CONAGUA chose Huawei — and its years of experience and expertise in fully-wireless campus network construction and Operations and Maintenance (O&M), as well as industry-leading purpose-built AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 technologies — to address network challenges and support its long-term plans.
Huawei built an agile wireless campus network for CONAGUA, boasting an end-to-end solution design, highly reliable carrier-grade devices, fully-wireless access, and a unified management platform. While this new campus network provides an efficient and reliable mobile office experience for employees, it also meets the requirements of emerging service innovations in CONAGUA's ongoing digital construction.
High-Speed Wireless Access in Compliance with Wi-Fi 6: AirEngine 8760-X1-Pro — an indoor flagship Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) Access Point (AP) — has 16 built-in dual-band Smart Antennas and supports up to 16 spatial streams to deliver an all-time high speed of 10.75 Gbit/s. Simply put, this provides a fiber-like wireless experience. The unique dual-band Smart Antenna design effectively improves signal gain, enables signals to follow users, and achieves ubiquitous coverage. Based on AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 APs, the new campus network provides an optimal Wi-Fi access experience for CONAGUA's employees and significantly improves service processing efficiency.
Highly Reliable, Easy-to-Deploy Campus Network: CloudEngine S5732-H series switches provide a maximum of 48 multi-GE ports (capable of 10 GE) per device. In high-concurrency and heavy-load scenarios, these feature-rich switches can implement non-blocking switching, resulting in zero packet loss. When working with next-generation AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 APs, the switches significantly increase the network capacity and reduce latency, providing a superior connection experience on CONAGUA's campus network.
Flexible User Rights Control: The AirEngine 9700-M Access Controller (AC) implements flexible user rights control. It supports access control policies based on users and roles, to distinguish between employees and guests, ensuring impenetrable security for employees to access the office network.
The office network upgrade is an important step forward in CONAGUA's digital transformation, but there is still a long way to go. With successful digital campus network practices in place, CONAGUA plans to upgrade its entire network in the future to:
• Innovate its water conservancy systems based on comprehensive digital ICT infrastructure.
• Better implement the PNH initiative.
• Achieve more efficient management of water resources.
• Provide better quality services for residents.
• Create more value.
According to CONAGUA's IT team, "On the previous Wi-Fi 4 network, configuration used to be very complex. The next-generation Wi-Fi 6 AC greatly simplifies the configuration process, which, in turn, significantly improves network deployment and O&M efficiency. In addition, the coverage provided by Huawei's next-generation AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 APs ensures we're always connected, greatly enhancing the office network quality."
Looking to the future, CONAGUA is seeking to actively explore digital technologies to diversify its services. It will also aim to effectively support Mexico's water conservancy construction and sustainable development of water resources, striving for the greater well-being of the public.