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Making connections faster: Wi-Fi upgraded again at Al Udeid

Wi-Fi Cables

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Haley Grenier, command support staff administrator with the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, inspects a WI-FI server rack Jan. 22, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. A recent upgrade to base-wide Wi-Fi service increased internet speeds by 14x, enhancing entertainment options, educational opportunities, fitness programs and family connections for service members deployed to Al Udeid AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Greg Erwin)

Wi-Fi Cables

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Haley Grenier, command support staff administrator with the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, performs an internet speed test on a Peloton indoor exercise bike at the Blatchford Preston Complex gym Jan. 22, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. A recent upgrade to base-wide Wi-Fi service increased internet speeds by 14x, enhancing entertainment options, educational opportunities, fitness programs and family connections for service members deployed to Al Udeid AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Greg Erwin)

Wi-Fi Cables

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Haley Grenier, command support staff administrator with the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, inspects an internet server rack Jan. 22, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. A recent upgrade to base-wide Wi-Fi service increased internet speeds by 14x, enhancing entertainment options, educational opportunities, fitness programs and family connections for service members deployed to Al Udeid AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Greg Erwin)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --

As of January 2021, the Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF) Wi-Fi speeds at Al Udeid Air Base have improved to 7 megabits per second – 14 times faster than the original speeds before the project started last October.

“Users are able to connect two devices now, eliminating the need to prioritize between your phone and your laptop,” said Staff Sgt. Haley Grenier, 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron.

Being deployed away family and friends can be difficult for Airmen, but improving life with something as simple as faster Wi-Fi can make a difference. Whether it’s being able to reach out to family on Facebook, watch the latest series on Netflix or even work on online classes, having improved Wi-Fi helps keep Airmen focused on the mission at work, and able to connect with home off-duty.

“We ask a lot of our deployed members here at Team AUAB, and they have continuously delivered,” said Lt. Col. Chaz LeDeatte, 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron Commander. “Brig. Gen. Tulley understood members' quality of life frustrations created by the older and slower internet. As the new leadership team arrived last summer, we were aligned to work this top quality of life problem set for Team AUAB. The focus was to provide a faster internet service and free-of-charge Wi-Fi to support CAF activities and enable mass notification for our personnel who downloaded the AtHoc application. With this win on the books, we will collectively continue to innovate and integrate the best solutions for Team AUAB.”

Additional improvements include common areas like the gyms and dining facilities being set to an open infrastructure – eliminating the need to log in every time before connecting. A major request was upgraded capabilities in the gym for the machines to get online workouts downloaded.

“We have also allocated bandwidth to the new Peloton bikes so that users can have an uninterrupted experience while getting in a good sweat,” Grenier stated.

Along with the upgrades to the existing infrastructure, the updated lodging facilities will also have Wi-Fi installed with increased coverage from the Babtel custom dual-band routers – which are upgradable to Wi-Fi 6 for future improvement.

“Our CAF Wi-Fi allows us to partner with the Qatari Signal Corps, Vodafone, and Babtel to continue in optimizing the network and increase the user experience on base – at zero cost to the end user,” Grenier explained.

While nothing can replace the feeling of being home with your family and friends, improving connectivity is just one way that the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing is trying to ensure a standard of living that is worthy of our Airmen.