Connection of IoT Devices to the Campus Wi-Fi Network

What is Internet of Things (IoT) ?

  • The term “Internet of Things (IoT)” was coined in the 80s to describe smart devices and objects that are embedded with sensors, processors, software and other digital technologies for connecting and exchanging data with other devices over the Internet to enable remote control and automation without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
  • Examples range from connected household appliances like smart TV to enterprise devices such as smart thermostat, security locks, office monitoring equipment to larger-scale smart cities and campus devices such as robots, sensors, beacons, driverless cars, etc. It is inevitable to use IoTs for enabling a smart campus.  

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IoT Connection Service


The Service

The IoT devices as deployed in the campus must be interlinked and connected to the campus network in a secured and controlled manner so that data can be collected and shared in a safe way to conduct research and enhance the learning environment. The University’s wireless LAN (WLAN) is IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant and supports authentication with IEEE 802.1x standard. Under the 802.1x authentication process, users must authenticate their identities using their usernames and passwords upon connecting to the campus WLAN. The device and the authentication server establish trust over the wireless connection if the user is successful, the device will then be authorized to access the campus WLAN.

Since not all IoT devices support 802.1x supplicant to connect to WLAN, ITSC had set up an alternative authentication method using the Private Pre-shared Key (PPSK) method. With PPSK, a group of pre-registered IoT devices can be authenticated to access the campus WLAN with a pre-assigned “key”.


Figure 1.   Private PSK (PPSK) setup for different IoT devices / sensors

IoT Topology


Requirements for IoT Devices


To connect an IoT device with PPSK authentication to the campus WLAN, the device must fulfill the below requirements.

  • Support 802.11a/b/g/n/ac connection (802.11 a/ac is preferred)
  • Support WPA2-PSK
  • Support hidden / non-broadcast SSID
  • Support DHCP

Registration of IoT devices for Connection to Campus Network

The registration of IoT devices shall be requested on the behalf of an academic/administrative department and approved by the respective HoD.

  • To register their IoT devices using PPSK authentication, departmental representative should submit a service request form with adequate information on the ITSC Helpdesk system.

Figure 2. Service request of IoT Wi-Fi through ITSC helpdesk system

  • ITSC will send an email to the applicant with information about retrieving the authentication key when the registration process is completed.

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