ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE News

Birthplace of radio goes wireless with Virginia Tech technology

Photograph of historic Balogna, Italy

Aerial view of the historic center of Bologna Italy. Bologna, the home of Europe's first university, is where Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio.

Bologna, Italy—home of Europe’s first university and where Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio—has launched a free municipal Wi-Fi network exclusively using the stub loaded helix (SLH) antenna invented in ECE laboratories.

The network is the first of its kind to cover the historic center of a major Italian city, according to Guiseppe Pariolo, deputy mayor and Bologna city manager for communication.

The network uses 100 SLH antennas and required 12 months for approval for use on the historic buildings. The network was deployed by HI-TEL Italia, in conjunction with a local ISP, Acantho, using RoamAD technology. RoamAD licenses the SLH antenna technology from Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties.

The SLH antenna was developed by Warren Stutzman and graduate student Mike Barts.