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CASE STUDIES

Comprehensive Bangalore Airport Digital Journey

A deep dive into all the case studies that we implemented at BIAL

BIAL
BIAL
BIAL

Keeping up the operations of the airport flawlessly with virtually zero downtime when so many critical systems depend on it is tough, especially with an old-school conventional network architecture. If you are responsible for airport operations, you’ll exactly know the pains of it.

BIAL - Bangalore International Airport Limited - Faced Similar Pains.

Kempe Gowda International Airport in Bengaluru is the third largest airport in India. With an annual traffic of around 32 million passengers, it is also one of the busiest and fastest-growing airports. It won the Best Regional Airport in India & Central Asia at the World Airport Awards 2020 for the third time.

BIAL, committed to providing world-class service to the passengers, felt the need to upgrade its infrastructure. So, they planned on building the new T2 terminal. It would increase the passenger handling capacity to 60 million. The authorities already knew the shortcomings of the T1 terminal. So, they had clear goals for the T2 terminal.

They partnered with Netcon for their network design, infrastructure, and deployment needs.

The Goals Set by BIAL

  1. Migrating the existing communication network at the T1 terminal to a Software-Defined Network Architecture

  2. Design and implement a future-proof, state-of-the-art integrated IT and network Infrastructure for T2 terminal

  3. Integrated network security for the T2 terminal

  4. Prioritise visibility and ease of management

  5. Scalable and flexible network to adhere to the needs of the airport systems

On top of these, they were looking for a future-ready, multi-tenant network that could support the latest and upcoming tech - contactless check-in, biometric check-in, IoT systems, and so on - to enhance the passenger experience and provide them with a seamless journey through the airport.

What are your network goals? We can help you achieve them.

Why the Traditional Network Couldn’t Keep Up

Traditional networks at BIAL with hierarchical design needed manual configuration and physical routers and switches, which are often proprietary. These networks were isolated and static - every system ran on its separate network and needed manual intervention to make changes. Also, they cannot be optimized based on the traffic and system requirements.

All the different layers of the network hierarchy, manual fettling to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot, and the complexity of isolated networks meant they were not flexible, scalable, and transparent. The quality of service(QoS) went down. The performance and security also took a hit. All these meant BIAL faced downtime quite often. And it affected their operations.

What is the difference between SDN architecture and conventional architecture?

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) architecture differs from conventional network architecture in its approach to network control and management. SDN centralizes network control, enabling dynamic, programmable, and automated network management through a centralized controller. This flexibility makes SDN more adaptable to changing demands, improving scalability, agility, and ease of network management while simplifying the deployment of advanced network services and applications.

With that said, let us look at how we solved these pains for them.

T1 Terminal - Migrating from Traditional Networks to Software-Defined Network Architecture

Migrating more than 50 systems seamlessly is a huge challenge.

Assessing the Needs and Designing

First, we began by analyzing the performance requirements of these several systems. Our team also pondered on understanding these systems, their peak performance demands, the bottlenecks, and other factors.

After studying all these, our network architects designed a unified software-defined network and clearly defined the network segmentation and isolation for various systems. For example, we needed to isolate the Passenger Wi-Fi network from the Airport Operations network. It is essential to do that as they both serve different purposes.

Passenger Wi-Fi needs users to authenticate to connect. It needs to be segmented and isolated using VLAN. We also need intrusion detection to prevent cybercriminals from infiltrating other crucial networks, resources, and data. On the other hand, the Operations Network needs strict role-based access controls to ensure maximum security. It also demands redundancy and failover mechanisms for virtually zero downtime.

Do you want us to assess and audit your existing network infrastructure? Reach out to us here.

Why access control is required?

Access control is essential at airports for safety and security. It prevents unauthorized access to sensitive areas, enhances terrorism prevention, and ensures compliance with aviation regulations. It safeguards passengers, staff, and resources, helping deter theft and providing control during emergencies while maintaining data center security.

Identifying the Right Hardware and Software for the Network

A network overhaul demands a lot of components - both hardware and software. Narrowing down on the right ones that suited our application for BIAL was a tedious process. We wanted their investment to stand the test of time while providing maximum return.

On the hardware side, we finalized SDN-compatible switches, routers, and controllers. We decided on the SDN controller that aligned with our architecture. We also included the SDN applications that help monitor and manage traffic, security, QoS, and other parameters.

Migration Phase

We took a phased migration approach, migrating segments of the network incrementally. First, we deployed the network segmentation and isolation. We then isolated network segments and gradually migrated each of them to the SDN network. We then installed the SDN controller and configured it with network policies, traffic flow, and routing. Our team finally integrated the data center with the network.

Security was non-negotiable, and we ensured BIAL complied with the security standards by installing firewalls, intrusion prevention/detection systems, role-based access control, and endpoint security. We tested the network and optimized it by analyzing the performance and requirements.

To enable visibility and management of the network, our team installed management and visibility tools to monitor the performance, utilization, and potential issues. It would throw alerts when it detects any anomalies. We also deployed robust disaster recovery redundancy and failover mechanisms to ensure maximum uptime.

This way, our team successfully migrated the entire T1 terminal network and all its systems onto the new SDN network.

T2 Terminal - Designing and Implementing a Robust and Reliable Software-Defined Communication Network From Scratch

BIAL wanted the new terminal to be an experience like no other for the passengers in every aspect. They went to great lengths to perfect the architecture and interior of that terminal.

Designed Considering the T2 Terminal Demands

We went through all the exercises that we did to design the software-defined network architecture for the T1 terminal. But the ceiling of performance that it allowed was higher. It had to be state-of-the-art infrastructure, especially with the increased projected passenger traffic.

BIAL wanted to implement IoT systems that would help them be greener, more efficient, and sustainable - smart irrigation and water management, cooling systems and air purification, intelligent lighting, and so on. We designed the network architecture considering all these systems and their performance demands.

We recently implemented an advanced IoT-based irrigation and water management system at the T2 terminal for BIAL. You can read more about it here.

The steps involved in deploying the T2 terminal network were similar to that of the T1 terminal. We didn’t have to migrate the old network to the new one. Instead, we set it up from scratch, integrating the different systems incrementally with the network, albeit with careful planning and execution.

How Did It Benefit BIAL?

An innovative, multi-tenant, and integrated network architecture for both terminals at BIAL operates seamlessly despite increasing traffic and a plethora of systems running off of it.

High Availability and Agility

With improved traffic management and dynamic allocation of resources, the network never faces bottlenecks. It improves reliability, agility, and optimized traffic flow for critical airport systems like flight scheduling or baggage handling.

Quality of Service

The network can prioritize bandwidth allocation for the passenger Wi-Fi service without affecting the other airport systems. The self-service portals for check-in and baggage tags provide a smooth check-in process.

We also installed a unique Passenger Wi-Fi Onboarding solution at BIAL. Click to know more.

Streamlined Airport Retail

Point of Sale (POS) systems benefitted from improved network connectivity, leading to faster and more reliable transactions at airport shops and restaurants.

Centralized Security

Access control systems at BIAL are centrally managed and updated, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access secure areas and access privileges can be revoked in real-time. With Intrusion detection systems (IDS), authorities can analyze network traffic and rapidly identify anomalies, allowing security personnel to respond to potential threats promptly.

Reduced Downtime With Disaster Recovery and Redundancy

Maintenance systems schedule updates and repairs during non-peak hours to minimize disruptions to airport operations. And with disaster recovery and redundancy mechanisms in place, the airport hardly faces any downtime.

Efficiency, Scalability and Flexibility

With lowered downtime and optimized energy usage, the airport has reduced utility costs and minimized the environmental impact of its operations. As the airport expands and introduces new subsystems or services, the SDN ensures scalability and flexibility as it can easily scale to accommodate additional devices and traffic.

Netcon did a commendable job, kudos to the ground level team, they have been stretching hard to complete the project on time and have always been proactive! - Brian Paul Roche, Vice President - IT, Projects

BIAL Operations Have Never Been Smoother

It was a complex project, with 50,000+ IP endpoints spread across 50+ airport subsystems. We executed it with meticulous attention to detail, planning, and close coordination with all the stakeholders. Our team and its technical expertise in IT/OT and know-how of airport operations was a key factor in the success of this project.

31.97 million passengers went through the gates of BIAL with zero hiccups during 2022-23. And that is a testament to how well it all works together.

When we asked Mr. Nedunchezhiyan, General Manager of IT projects, about the Terminal 2 design and concept, he said, “We have addressed the constraints of the Terminal 1 engineering and aesthetic look and feel, with a future-proof, airport-inside-a-garden concept, with a natural feel-good infrastructure, having a garden pavilion with energy conserving superior design.”

The Cybersecurity Challenge

When you deploy technology at such a scale - 50000+ IP endpoints and 50+ airport subsystems - securing it against cyber threats is one of the biggest challenges. With more than 20000 active users connected to the network and 200+ applications and Virtual Machines running, cybersecurity is paramount and a non-negotiable.

BIAL, along with us, felt the following were some of the critical security concerns.

Insider Threats: Employees at various levels with various levels of access can be a potential threat. And we must deploy a zero-trust policy.

Airport Wi-Fi: The users connected to the airport Wi-Fi that is open to all can penetrate the network and cause significant damage or leak data. The users can request access to malicious, dodgy websites that might be a threat to the airport network environment.

Network Security: Segmenting and securing the network where more than 50 subsystems are running simultaneously is a necessity. You do not want the ones with access to one system accessing the others.

Data Integrity: To prevent data leakage or tampering

Application Security: With 200+ applications, cybercriminals can exploit APIs. Applications can be a target for zero-day vulnerabilities as well.

Let us explore how we solved these concerns for BIAL.

Fortifying BIAL’s Cybersecurity Posture

Deploying cybersecurity measures at such a scale is a task in itself.

Network Traffic Analytics to Protect Against Insider Threats

Insider threats pose a unique challenge. With a zero-trust policy, you deliberately do not trust anyone within the organization. Knowingly or unknowingly, they can be a cybersecurity hazard. On such an elaborate and extensive network infrastructure at BIAL, the concern is even more pronounced.

To negate this, we deployed a strict and bleeding-edge network traffic analytics tool that continuously monitors and analyses the network activity. It will immediately alert and notify the authorities when it detects any suspicious activity. And because we have deployed a software-defined network at BIAL, it makes network visualization a breeze. Hence, it is easy to pinpoint the threat and negate it instantly.

Guarding Wi-Fi and Internet Activity With Robust DNS Security

To prevent access to malicious domains, IP addresses, and web applications that can act as a gateway for cybercriminals, we deployed strict DNS security. With its advanced features like a threat intelligence database, real-time analysis, and instant reporting, we ensured web safety at BIAL for both internal and external users.

Data and Web Application Security

BIAL has its own data center and a backup. To protect its integrity, we deployed real-time data center analytics. It analyses every single process within the data center in real-time and provides all-around workload protection from malicious activities, sitting perfectly with our zero-trust cybersecurity model.

To protect against the targeted attacks on system applications, we installed two web application firewalls(WAF) - one for internal traffic and one for internet traffic.

DDoS Attack Protection

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is when a flood of fake traffic is sent to a flight information system, booking and reservation system, or any other system to overwhelm it, so it becomes slow or goes offline. A load balancer here can help in two ways:

  1. Distributing Traffic: By spreading out incoming traffic across multiple servers, a load balancer makes it harder for a DDoS attack to overwhelm any single server.

  2. Filtering: Our advanced load balancers identify and block fake or malicious traffic before it even reaches the servers, reducing the impact of a DDoS attack.

Outcome?

The cybersecurity measures at BIAL have fortified the network and IT infrastructure to be exceptionally resilient against a myriad of cybersecurity threats. Since the implementation, there have been zero successful cyber-attacks, and potential threats have been identified and neutralized before causing any harm.

Furthermore, the advanced DNS security has made the BIAL network environment safer for both internal and external users.

Data and web application security measures have safeguarded the integrity of critical information. The real-time data center analytics have flagged suspicious activities, and the web application firewalls have stopped targeted threats in their tracks. These mechanisms have provided robust protection without impacting system performance, thereby aligning perfectly with our zero-trust cybersecurity model.

DDoS Attack Protection, integrated through advanced load balancers, has brought an additional layer of security that not only protects against targeted attacks but also ensures that essential systems remain operational and efficient.

Concluding It

Through a well-crafted strategy and by deploying advanced cybersecurity measures, we have significantly elevated the airport's security posture. It has mitigated insider threats and upheld the network integrity. Web and data applications are more secure than ever, and the solution has mitigated the risks associated with DDoS attacks.

Our partnership with BIAL is a testament to the efficacy of deploying cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions at scale. By addressing its unique challenges, we have made BIAL safer and future-proofed it against evolving cybersecurity threats. It goes to show that no matter how large or complex the IT landscape is, with the right strategy and tools, security does not have to be compromised.

By ensuring that BIAL remains a safe and secure digital environment, we are not just protecting data or systems; we are part of safeguarding millions of journeys that commence and conclude at this bustling international gateway.

The Irrigation Challenge at T2 Terminal

Airport terminals are seldom associated with greenery and natural habitats, yet Bengaluru Airport took an unconventional step in incorporating a unique garden terminal called T2. Featuring an impressive variety of trees, small gardens, and 471 Bells and Veils type hanging planters, T2 is a green haven for travelers.

But with great beauty comes great responsibility: how do you consistently and sustainably maintain such an elaborate garden structure?

To solve this, BIAL contacted Netcon. We saw this as more than just a business opportunity; we saw it as a challenge to innovate and push the boundaries of IoT technology towards a more sustainable future. Several reasons fueled our excitement to collaborate with Bengaluru Airport:

  1. Bengaluru Airport is a cornerstone of air travel in India, making the stakes higher and the project more impactful.

  2. The unique design of the T2 terminal called for a specialized irrigation solution, allowing us to stretch our technical capabilities.

  3. A successful implementation would not only solve the airport's pain points but also provide a scalable model for other complex irrigation needs.

Objectives

Maintaining an airport terminal garden is about creating a balanced ecosystem that blends aesthetics with practicality. With its 471 Bells and Veils type hanging planters, in addition to a myriad of local flora, T2 was a masterpiece that demanded precision in irrigation.

Manual irrigation posed significant issues:

  • Water Wastage: Traditional watering methods are often imprecise, leading to overwatering some areas while neglecting others.

  • Labor Intensity: Employing personnel to water and monitor the plants would require a sizable workforce, given the scale of the garden.

  • Accessibility: Some of the plants hang at a significant height. Irrigating them regularly is an accessibility challenge.

  • Inconsistency: Even with a dedicated team, human error and variations in watering techniques could compromise the health of the plants.

  • Scalability: The manual method isn't scalable and becomes impractical as the garden grows or as water conservation becomes more critical.

These aren't mere inconveniences; they are critical pain points that can affect the overall passenger experience, the health of the unique flora, and the operational costs for Bengaluru Airport. It was a multi-faceted problem begging for a tech-driven, scalable, and precise solution.

Dealing with inefficient water utilization in your large-scale projects? Let us show you how to transform that.

The Ingenious Solution: IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System

After a meticulous analysis of the challenges associated with maintaining the T2 terminal's extensive garden, we designed a bespoke IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System. Here's how it confronts the previous pain points:

Why Opt for IoT and Hybrid Controllers?

Internet of Things (IoT) technology provides real-time data collection and automated control, a necessary feature for precision irrigation. The solution incorporates Hybrid Controllers at each Bells and Veils hanging planter, which seamlessly integrate with:

  • Soil Moisture Sensors: To avoid over-irrigation and under-irrigation, ensuring optimal soil moisture levels for plant health.

  • Water Level Sensors: For automated monitoring of water reservoir levels, to minimize water wastage.

  • Solenoid Valves and Local Pumps: To control water flow with pinpoint accuracy.

The above components ensure that the irrigation is not just automated but also intelligent, adaptive, and, most importantly, sustainable.

Need a deep-dive into the technical aspects of IoT-based systems? Request our expert analysis.

The Centralized Control System

A Centralized Controller manages all 471 hybrid controllers, providing a unified command center. This eradicates the need for manual monitoring and thereby eliminates the risks of human error in water conservation at large-scale garden terminals.

Remote Monitoring and Alerts

To further ease the irrigation process, the system has built-in SMS alerts for concerned authorities and a master dashboard for real-time updates. Such functionalities make it easier for maintenance teams to act promptly if issues arise, fulfilling our commitment to provide scalable solutions for automated large-scale garden maintenance.

Why Not Other Technologies?

While alternative technologies like drip irrigation or sprinkler systems might come to mind, they lack the intelligent feedback loop that our IoT system offers. Also, they do not work at T2 Garden Terminal simply because the aesthetics and the architecture do not allow. Our solution is uniquely positioned to solve the challenges of maintaining intricate garden designs with diverse flora without compromising on water efficiency.

Integrating with Existing Infrastructure

A unique feature of our solution is its seamless integration with Bengaluru Airport's existing network infrastructure. We established an irrigation-specific VLAN within the BIAL network, ensuring data security through encrypted wireless communication.

VLAN Segmentation

The use of a VLAN offers the benefit of network segmentation, which further improves security and simplifies management. All irrigation-specific devices—soil sensors, zonal controllers, master controllers, etc.—are grouped within this VLAN. By doing so, we've streamlined network policies, allowing for more straightforward troubleshooting and easier application of quality of service (QoS) measures.

How Our IoT Technology Ensures Sustainable and Precise Garden Maintenance

The architecture of this solution is built upon layers of redundancy to ensure fail-safety:

  • Primary and Secondary Master Irrigation Controllers: To ensure that there is no single point of failure.

  • SCADA for Main Irrigation Control: For robust and reliable control mechanisms.

  • Recycling Pumps: In case there's excessive water let out for irrigation, the system has a built-in mechanism to recycle it, further underscoring our commitment to sustainability.

  • 49 Zonal Controllers: To manage different zones of the garden for more precise control and reporting.

Our IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System not only automated the entire process but also optimized water usage. It is precisely what the T2 terminal needed: a solution that prioritizes both form and function.

Implementing a complex IoT solution soon? Our team can help.

Outcomes of the IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System

The integration of cutting-edge technologies like IoT, cloud computing, and real-time data analytics has yielded a harvest of exceptional outcomes. While the focus has always been on achieving irrigation efficiency, the system has far surpassed expectations, pushing the boundaries of what's achievable in intelligent irrigation within an airport terminal like BIAL T2.

Measurable Improvements

  • Water Efficiency: Through real-time soil moisture monitoring and dynamic water distribution, we've achieved a 35% reduction in water consumption compared to traditional irrigation methods.

  • Operational Costs: The reduced water usage coupled with automated operation resulted in a 28% decrease in operational costs.

  • Reliability and Uptime: With 99.8% system uptime, the gardens at BIAL T2 terminal have never looked more lush, directly affecting the overall passenger experience.

  • Resource Optimization: The system enables better human resource allocation, freeing staff to focus on garden aesthetics and improvements rather than labor-intensive manual irrigation.

ROI and Future Scalability

Beyond the immediate benefits, the system lays the foundation for future scalability, given its modular design and cloud-based architecture. The initial ROI is projected to be realized within the first 18 months, making this not just an ecological win but a substantial financial gain.

Data-Driven Decisions

Through advanced analytics and reporting, BIAL can make data-driven decisions for garden maintenance and future landscape planning. Parameters like water usage, soil health, and plant growth rates are just a few of the metrics that can now be quantified, thus introducing a new era of scientific gardening at BIAL T2.

A Move Towards Sustainability

In addition to technological sophistication and security robustness, this solution aligns seamlessly with BIAL's ongoing sustainability initiatives. The precise soil moisture and water level sensors directly target the reduction of water wastage, permitting water to be dispensed only when necessary and in the exact quantities required. The result is a meaningful contribution to water conservation, positioning the BIAL T2 Terminal not only as a technological marvel but also as a benchmark for environmental stewardship in airport infrastructures.

Eager to make your operation more sustainable? Let us help you turn that vision into reality.

A Paradigm Shift in Intelligent Irrigation

The IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System has not merely been a project but a transformative journey for BIAL T2. By marrying traditional horticulture with next-gen technology, the system has set a precedent for how modern airports can think beyond basic infrastructure to create an aesthetically pleasing yet functionally optimized environment. The meticulously planned and executed project serves as a blueprint for how technology can serve ecological and operational imperatives alike, creating a sustainable and economically viable model for the future.

Elevating Customer Support and Ensuring Seamless Internal Communication at BIAL With Copper

With the recent IT infrastructure overhaul for both their terminals, they are headed in the right direction for the future. But they didn't want to stop there.

Being in a city known for its tech start-ups and industries, catering to the tech-savvy people is a must. BIAL knows that. They wanted to leap ahead into it to provide a seamless experience to their travellers. While addressing that, they also wanted to make their internal communication better.

Aims Set by BIAL

BIAL had two clear goals.

Elevate the customer experience when they contact support with an IVRS solution

The customers now expect an experience when they call support. They hate to wait and being put on hold. Self service is also a necessity for trivial information about gates, flight status, cancellations, reservations and the likes. So, a reliable and efficient support system is a must.

Have seamless and reliable internal communication across their operations

Airport operations are complex. Anyone who has experienced working in that environment knows it. The authorities need to communicate a lot of last-moment occurrences to the concerned personnels. This is where a robust and efficient communication system comes into the picture.

Copper - The Multichannel Customer Support

We deployed Copper - our homegrown customer support tool - to fulfil the goals set by BIAL.

Copper has revolutionized BIAL’s approach to customer service with its dual capabilities. As a sophisticated IVRS, it empowers passengers with the ability to effortlessly navigate through a range of self-service options. Whether checking flight statuses, modifying reservations, or accessing facility information, Copper offers instant, 24/7 support without the need for live agents. Its smart routing feature recognizes when a query requires human intervention and swiftly directs the call to an available support member, eliminating unnecessary wait times.

Enhancing the IVRS, Copper’s contact center functionality shines by enabling passengers to connect with live agents when needed. Recognizing the value of human touch, Copper's interface seamlessly integrates with BIAL’s customer service databases to provide agents with real-time access to passenger information. This integration equips agents with the context needed to deliver personalized support, thereby improving resolution times and passenger satisfaction.

Copper's Impact on Seamless and Reliable Internal Communication

For BIAL’s internal operations, Copper offers more than just a robust IVRS—it's a comprehensive communication nexus. Leveraging its IP telephony infrastructure, Copper facilitates high-priority communication within the airport’s complex ecosystem. The platform supports a dynamic environment where last-minute gate changes, security updates, and operational shifts are the norms. Its intelligent call distribution ensures that crucial information reaches the right personnel, supporting swift decision-making and coordination. This feature is especially beneficial for critical situations requiring immediate action, from emergency responses to unexpected operational challenges.

Impact and Transformation at BIAL

Since the implementation of Copper, BIAL has documented substantial improvements in operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The platform’s ability to balance automated services with personalized human interaction has resulted in a more streamlined passenger experience. Copper’s robust data analytics have enabled BIAL to pinpoint areas for service enhancement, driving continuous improvement in their operations.

Passengers have benefited from reduced wait times and a faster response to inquiries, leading to improved convenience and decreased frustration. Internally, BIAL has witnessed an elevation in staff productivity, as the platform's efficiency has freed employees from mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex, value-added activities.

Concluding it up…

The adoption of Copper at Bangalore International Airport exemplifies a strategic integration of technology in enhancing customer support and internal communications. It stands as a testament to BIAL’s commitment to leveraging innovative solutions to cater to the evolving needs of passengers and streamline internal processes.

Copper's role at BIAL is a blueprint for airports worldwide, showcasing the impact of technology on creating a seamless, efficient, and responsive airport ecosystem. The success story of Copper at BIAL will continue to resonate as the standard for customer-centric and operationally efficient airport systems in the global aviation industry.

Enabling Seamless Wi-Fi Connectivity for Passengers at BIAL

For digital natives in the current generation, the internet is their lifeline. Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) knows how crucial airport Wi-Fi services are. Airports these days are not just travel hubs. They are an experience. BIAL wanted to provide their travelers with an experience like no other.

After revamping the entire IT Infrastructure and deploying state-of-the-art customer support tools, BIAL wanted the internet connectivity within their airport campus to be top-notch.

Integrating and Leveraging BLR Airport App

To cater to the tech-savvy and smartphone-heavy user base, BIAL developed an app called BLR Airport. It served the basic needs of the users - flight status and information, gate updates, schedules, connecting to airport facilities, travel options, shopping and food options, and so on.

With a plethora of features and capabilities, the app is a valuable entity for passengers. It has more than 100,000+ downloads on Google Play Store. BIAL wanted to take it to the next level by integrating airport Wi-Fi services with the app and building on it. BIAL aimed to provide personalized services to the users. BIAL also wanted to increase the profitability of their airport along with the tenants.

Here is where Netcon came into the picture to aid BIAL in achieving its unique goals.

Deploying Cutting-Edge Airport Wi-Fi Onboarding Solution

We integrated Aeropass - our homegrown Wi-Fi onboarding platform - with the BLR Airport app. It solves two pains for BIAL.

Wi-Fi Onboarding

Aeropass provides seamless, quick, and hassle-free Wi-Fi onboarding to users. When integrated with the app, it recognizes the airport network when inside the airport and automatically connects to it. You need not manually log in with your phone number and an OTP.

We achieved this through a combination of pre-configuration in the app, secure credential storage, and communication protocols between the app, the user's device, and the Wi-Fi infrastructure. Let us walk you through the steps involved.

  • Users initially create an account on the BLR Airport app.

  • The app requests permissions for Wi-Fi and location services during or after installation.

  • Once registered, the app encrypts the user's credentials and stores them locally.

  • The app uses location services to determine when the user is in proximity to the Bangalore Airport. If yes, it concurrently scans for available Wi-Fi networks.

  • The app communicates with the Wi-Fi infrastructure using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and secure protocols.

  • It exchanges a token and performs a secure handshake. It then instructs the phone to connect to the network.

  • The app continuously verifies the device’s proximity to the network and will re-authenticate whenever necessary.

Once the user has created an account, the app will keep using location services and Wi-Fi to check if the device is in the proximity of Bangalore Airport. If yes, it will seamlessly connect to it, reducing the hassle for the passenger. When a new user who does not have the app installed tries to connect to the airport Wi-Fi, it will prompt the user to download the app.

Personalized Services

What we did by integrating Aeropass with the BLR Airport app is enable BIAL and its tenants to push personalized services through the app. Based on your past interactions with the app, you can unveil prioritised, high-speed internet. For example, a new user may only be able to browse the internet at 20 MBPS, but an existing user with a favorable record can surf at 50 MBPS. More avid users can also have a higher data limit.

The tenants can use the user data to push personalized notifications when in the vicinity to attract them. It is a win-win for both the tenants and the passengers. Passengers can have better offers, and the tenants can be more profitable by carefully catering to the right people in the right manner.

The Impact?

The integration of Aeropass with the BLR Airport app has created a transformative impact for Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) in multiple dimensions.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

The level of customer satisfaction has skyrocketed thanks to the added convenience. The smooth onboarding experience has led to an increased engagement with the BLR Airport app. The overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) for airport services has seen a significant uptick since the integration.

Monetizing Customer Insights

The most important impact that Aeropass had on the BIAL is that the passenger data that used to go to the internet service provider now resides with them. It is a strategic advantage that cannot be overstated. It has opened new avenues for data-driven decision-making. They can analyze trends in user behavior to optimize various aspects of airport management such as crowd control, inventory planning for retail and food outlets, and even predicting Wi-Fi usage peaks to ensure sufficient bandwidth allocation.

Boosting Tenant Profitability

On the retail side, tenants can now more effectively target offers and promotions based on rich, data-driven insights. The data pulled from the app allows for hyper-personalized marketing, drastically increasing conversion rates and thereby profitability for the tenants. The result is a synergistic environment where everyone benefits—BIAL sees higher rental returns from more successful tenants, and the tenants enjoy increased revenue streams.

To Sum It All Up…

BIAL has set a new standard by integrating cutting-edge technology into its customer-facing solutions. Partnering with Netcon, and implementing the Aeropass Wi-Fi onboarding platform, has proved to be a game-changer. It has elevated the passenger experience to unprecedented levels and also created a fertile ground for data-driven strategies, operational excellence, and symbiotic profitability for both BIAL and its tenants.

By putting the passenger first and weaving technology into the fabric of its services, BIAL has successfully transformed from a mere transit point to a digital ecosystem that enriches the passenger journey at every touchpoint.

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CASE STUDIES

Comprehensive Bangalore Airport Digital Journey

Comprehensive Bangalore Airport Digital Journey

BIAL

Keeping up the operations of the airport flawlessly with virtually zero downtime when so many critical systems depend on it is tough, especially with an old-school conventional network architecture. If you are responsible for airport operations, you’ll exactly know the pains of it.

BIAL - Bangalore International Airport Limited - Faced Similar Pains.

Kempe Gowda International Airport in Bengaluru is the third largest airport in India. With an annual traffic of around 32 million passengers, it is also one of the busiest and fastest-growing airports. It won the Best Regional Airport in India & Central Asia at the World Airport Awards 2020 for the third time.

BIAL, committed to providing world-class service to the passengers, felt the need to upgrade its infrastructure. So, they planned on building the new T2 terminal. It would increase the passenger handling capacity to 60 million. The authorities already knew the shortcomings of the T1 terminal. So, they had clear goals for the T2 terminal.

They partnered with Netcon for their network design, infrastructure, and deployment needs.

The Goals Set by BIAL

  1. Migrating the existing communication network at the T1 terminal to a Software-Defined Network Architecture

  2. Design and implement a future-proof, state-of-the-art integrated IT and network Infrastructure for T2 terminal

  3. Integrated network security for the T2 terminal

  4. Prioritise visibility and ease of management

  5. Scalable and flexible network to adhere to the needs of the airport systems

On top of these, they were looking for a future-ready, multi-tenant network that could support the latest and upcoming tech - contactless check-in, biometric check-in, IoT systems, and so on - to enhance the passenger experience and provide them with a seamless journey through the airport.

What are your network goals? We can help you achieve them.

Why the Traditional Network Couldn’t Keep Up

Traditional networks at BIAL with hierarchical design needed manual configuration and physical routers and switches, which are often proprietary. These networks were isolated and static - every system ran on its separate network and needed manual intervention to make changes. Also, they cannot be optimized based on the traffic and system requirements.

All the different layers of the network hierarchy, manual fettling to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot, and the complexity of isolated networks meant they were not flexible, scalable, and transparent. The quality of service(QoS) went down. The performance and security also took a hit. All these meant BIAL faced downtime quite often. And it affected their operations.

What is the difference between SDN architecture and conventional architecture?

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) architecture differs from conventional network architecture in its approach to network control and management. SDN centralizes network control, enabling dynamic, programmable, and automated network management through a centralized controller. This flexibility makes SDN more adaptable to changing demands, improving scalability, agility, and ease of network management while simplifying the deployment of advanced network services and applications.

With that said, let us look at how we solved these pains for them.

T1 Terminal - Migrating from Traditional Networks to Software-Defined Network Architecture

Migrating more than 50 systems seamlessly is a huge challenge.

Assessing the Needs and Designing

First, we began by analyzing the performance requirements of these several systems. Our team also pondered on understanding these systems, their peak performance demands, the bottlenecks, and other factors.

After studying all these, our network architects designed a unified software-defined network and clearly defined the network segmentation and isolation for various systems. For example, we needed to isolate the Passenger Wi-Fi network from the Airport Operations network. It is essential to do that as they both serve different purposes.

Passenger Wi-Fi needs users to authenticate to connect. It needs to be segmented and isolated using VLAN. We also need intrusion detection to prevent cybercriminals from infiltrating other crucial networks, resources, and data. On the other hand, the Operations Network needs strict role-based access controls to ensure maximum security. It also demands redundancy and failover mechanisms for virtually zero downtime.

Do you want us to assess and audit your existing network infrastructure? Reach out to us here.

Why access control is required?

Access control is essential at airports for safety and security. It prevents unauthorized access to sensitive areas, enhances terrorism prevention, and ensures compliance with aviation regulations. It safeguards passengers, staff, and resources, helping deter theft and providing control during emergencies while maintaining data center security.

Identifying the Right Hardware and Software for the Network

A network overhaul demands a lot of components - both hardware and software. Narrowing down on the right ones that suited our application for BIAL was a tedious process. We wanted their investment to stand the test of time while providing maximum return.

On the hardware side, we finalized SDN-compatible switches, routers, and controllers. We decided on the SDN controller that aligned with our architecture. We also included the SDN applications that help monitor and manage traffic, security, QoS, and other parameters.

Migration Phase

We took a phased migration approach, migrating segments of the network incrementally. First, we deployed the network segmentation and isolation. We then isolated network segments and gradually migrated each of them to the SDN network. We then installed the SDN controller and configured it with network policies, traffic flow, and routing. Our team finally integrated the data center with the network.

Security was non-negotiable, and we ensured BIAL complied with the security standards by installing firewalls, intrusion prevention/detection systems, role-based access control, and endpoint security. We tested the network and optimized it by analyzing the performance and requirements.

To enable visibility and management of the network, our team installed management and visibility tools to monitor the performance, utilization, and potential issues. It would throw alerts when it detects any anomalies. We also deployed robust disaster recovery redundancy and failover mechanisms to ensure maximum uptime.

This way, our team successfully migrated the entire T1 terminal network and all its systems onto the new SDN network.

T2 Terminal - Designing and Implementing a Robust and Reliable Software-Defined Communication Network From Scratch

BIAL wanted the new terminal to be an experience like no other for the passengers in every aspect. They went to great lengths to perfect the architecture and interior of that terminal.

Designed Considering the T2 Terminal Demands

We went through all the exercises that we did to design the software-defined network architecture for the T1 terminal. But the ceiling of performance that it allowed was higher. It had to be state-of-the-art infrastructure, especially with the increased projected passenger traffic.

BIAL wanted to implement IoT systems that would help them be greener, more efficient, and sustainable - smart irrigation and water management, cooling systems and air purification, intelligent lighting, and so on. We designed the network architecture considering all these systems and their performance demands.

We recently implemented an advanced IoT-based irrigation and water management system at the T2 terminal for BIAL. You can read more about it here.

The steps involved in deploying the T2 terminal network were similar to that of the T1 terminal. We didn’t have to migrate the old network to the new one. Instead, we set it up from scratch, integrating the different systems incrementally with the network, albeit with careful planning and execution.

How Did It Benefit BIAL?

An innovative, multi-tenant, and integrated network architecture for both terminals at BIAL operates seamlessly despite increasing traffic and a plethora of systems running off of it.

High Availability and Agility

With improved traffic management and dynamic allocation of resources, the network never faces bottlenecks. It improves reliability, agility, and optimized traffic flow for critical airport systems like flight scheduling or baggage handling.

Quality of Service

The network can prioritize bandwidth allocation for the passenger Wi-Fi service without affecting the other airport systems. The self-service portals for check-in and baggage tags provide a smooth check-in process.

We also installed a unique Passenger Wi-Fi Onboarding solution at BIAL. Click to know more.

Streamlined Airport Retail

Point of Sale (POS) systems benefitted from improved network connectivity, leading to faster and more reliable transactions at airport shops and restaurants.

Centralized Security

Access control systems at BIAL are centrally managed and updated, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access secure areas and access privileges can be revoked in real-time. With Intrusion detection systems (IDS), authorities can analyze network traffic and rapidly identify anomalies, allowing security personnel to respond to potential threats promptly.

Reduced Downtime With Disaster Recovery and Redundancy

Maintenance systems schedule updates and repairs during non-peak hours to minimize disruptions to airport operations. And with disaster recovery and redundancy mechanisms in place, the airport hardly faces any downtime.

Efficiency, Scalability and Flexibility

With lowered downtime and optimized energy usage, the airport has reduced utility costs and minimized the environmental impact of its operations. As the airport expands and introduces new subsystems or services, the SDN ensures scalability and flexibility as it can easily scale to accommodate additional devices and traffic.

Netcon did a commendable job, kudos to the ground level team, they have been stretching hard to complete the project on time and have always been proactive! - Brian Paul Roche, Vice President - IT, Projects

BIAL Operations Have Never Been Smoother

It was a complex project, with 50,000+ IP endpoints spread across 50+ airport subsystems. We executed it with meticulous attention to detail, planning, and close coordination with all the stakeholders. Our team and its technical expertise in IT/OT and know-how of airport operations was a key factor in the success of this project.

31.97 million passengers went through the gates of BIAL with zero hiccups during 2022-23. And that is a testament to how well it all works together.

When we asked Mr. Nedunchezhiyan, General Manager of IT projects, about the Terminal 2 design and concept, he said, “We have addressed the constraints of the Terminal 1 engineering and aesthetic look and feel, with a future-proof, airport-inside-a-garden concept, with a natural feel-good infrastructure, having a garden pavilion with energy conserving superior design.”

The Cybersecurity Challenge

When you deploy technology at such a scale - 50000+ IP endpoints and 50+ airport subsystems - securing it against cyber threats is one of the biggest challenges. With more than 20000 active users connected to the network and 200+ applications and Virtual Machines running, cybersecurity is paramount and a non-negotiable.

BIAL, along with us, felt the following were some of the critical security concerns.

Insider Threats: Employees at various levels with various levels of access can be a potential threat. And we must deploy a zero-trust policy.

Airport Wi-Fi: The users connected to the airport Wi-Fi that is open to all can penetrate the network and cause significant damage or leak data. The users can request access to malicious, dodgy websites that might be a threat to the airport network environment.

Network Security: Segmenting and securing the network where more than 50 subsystems are running simultaneously is a necessity. You do not want the ones with access to one system accessing the others.

Data Integrity: To prevent data leakage or tampering

Application Security: With 200+ applications, cybercriminals can exploit APIs. Applications can be a target for zero-day vulnerabilities as well.

Let us explore how we solved these concerns for BIAL.

Fortifying BIAL’s Cybersecurity Posture

Deploying cybersecurity measures at such a scale is a task in itself.

Network Traffic Analytics to Protect Against Insider Threats

Insider threats pose a unique challenge. With a zero-trust policy, you deliberately do not trust anyone within the organization. Knowingly or unknowingly, they can be a cybersecurity hazard. On such an elaborate and extensive network infrastructure at BIAL, the concern is even more pronounced.

To negate this, we deployed a strict and bleeding-edge network traffic analytics tool that continuously monitors and analyses the network activity. It will immediately alert and notify the authorities when it detects any suspicious activity. And because we have deployed a software-defined network at BIAL, it makes network visualization a breeze. Hence, it is easy to pinpoint the threat and negate it instantly.

Guarding Wi-Fi and Internet Activity With Robust DNS Security

To prevent access to malicious domains, IP addresses, and web applications that can act as a gateway for cybercriminals, we deployed strict DNS security. With its advanced features like a threat intelligence database, real-time analysis, and instant reporting, we ensured web safety at BIAL for both internal and external users.

Data and Web Application Security

BIAL has its own data center and a backup. To protect its integrity, we deployed real-time data center analytics. It analyses every single process within the data center in real-time and provides all-around workload protection from malicious activities, sitting perfectly with our zero-trust cybersecurity model.

To protect against the targeted attacks on system applications, we installed two web application firewalls(WAF) - one for internal traffic and one for internet traffic.

DDoS Attack Protection

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is when a flood of fake traffic is sent to a flight information system, booking and reservation system, or any other system to overwhelm it, so it becomes slow or goes offline. A load balancer here can help in two ways:

  1. Distributing Traffic: By spreading out incoming traffic across multiple servers, a load balancer makes it harder for a DDoS attack to overwhelm any single server.

  2. Filtering: Our advanced load balancers identify and block fake or malicious traffic before it even reaches the servers, reducing the impact of a DDoS attack.

Outcome?

The cybersecurity measures at BIAL have fortified the network and IT infrastructure to be exceptionally resilient against a myriad of cybersecurity threats. Since the implementation, there have been zero successful cyber-attacks, and potential threats have been identified and neutralized before causing any harm.

Furthermore, the advanced DNS security has made the BIAL network environment safer for both internal and external users.

Data and web application security measures have safeguarded the integrity of critical information. The real-time data center analytics have flagged suspicious activities, and the web application firewalls have stopped targeted threats in their tracks. These mechanisms have provided robust protection without impacting system performance, thereby aligning perfectly with our zero-trust cybersecurity model.

DDoS Attack Protection, integrated through advanced load balancers, has brought an additional layer of security that not only protects against targeted attacks but also ensures that essential systems remain operational and efficient.

Concluding It

Through a well-crafted strategy and by deploying advanced cybersecurity measures, we have significantly elevated the airport's security posture. It has mitigated insider threats and upheld the network integrity. Web and data applications are more secure than ever, and the solution has mitigated the risks associated with DDoS attacks.

Our partnership with BIAL is a testament to the efficacy of deploying cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions at scale. By addressing its unique challenges, we have made BIAL safer and future-proofed it against evolving cybersecurity threats. It goes to show that no matter how large or complex the IT landscape is, with the right strategy and tools, security does not have to be compromised.

By ensuring that BIAL remains a safe and secure digital environment, we are not just protecting data or systems; we are part of safeguarding millions of journeys that commence and conclude at this bustling international gateway.

The Irrigation Challenge at T2 Terminal

Airport terminals are seldom associated with greenery and natural habitats, yet Bengaluru Airport took an unconventional step in incorporating a unique garden terminal called T2. Featuring an impressive variety of trees, small gardens, and 471 Bells and Veils type hanging planters, T2 is a green haven for travelers.

But with great beauty comes great responsibility: how do you consistently and sustainably maintain such an elaborate garden structure?

To solve this, BIAL contacted Netcon. We saw this as more than just a business opportunity; we saw it as a challenge to innovate and push the boundaries of IoT technology towards a more sustainable future. Several reasons fueled our excitement to collaborate with Bengaluru Airport:

  1. Bengaluru Airport is a cornerstone of air travel in India, making the stakes higher and the project more impactful.

  2. The unique design of the T2 terminal called for a specialized irrigation solution, allowing us to stretch our technical capabilities.

  3. A successful implementation would not only solve the airport's pain points but also provide a scalable model for other complex irrigation needs.

Objectives

Maintaining an airport terminal garden is about creating a balanced ecosystem that blends aesthetics with practicality. With its 471 Bells and Veils type hanging planters, in addition to a myriad of local flora, T2 was a masterpiece that demanded precision in irrigation.

Manual irrigation posed significant issues:

  • Water Wastage: Traditional watering methods are often imprecise, leading to overwatering some areas while neglecting others.

  • Labor Intensity: Employing personnel to water and monitor the plants would require a sizable workforce, given the scale of the garden.

  • Accessibility: Some of the plants hang at a significant height. Irrigating them regularly is an accessibility challenge.

  • Inconsistency: Even with a dedicated team, human error and variations in watering techniques could compromise the health of the plants.

  • Scalability: The manual method isn't scalable and becomes impractical as the garden grows or as water conservation becomes more critical.

These aren't mere inconveniences; they are critical pain points that can affect the overall passenger experience, the health of the unique flora, and the operational costs for Bengaluru Airport. It was a multi-faceted problem begging for a tech-driven, scalable, and precise solution.

Dealing with inefficient water utilization in your large-scale projects? Let us show you how to transform that.

The Ingenious Solution: IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System

After a meticulous analysis of the challenges associated with maintaining the T2 terminal's extensive garden, we designed a bespoke IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System. Here's how it confronts the previous pain points:

Why Opt for IoT and Hybrid Controllers?

Internet of Things (IoT) technology provides real-time data collection and automated control, a necessary feature for precision irrigation. The solution incorporates Hybrid Controllers at each Bells and Veils hanging planter, which seamlessly integrate with:

  • Soil Moisture Sensors: To avoid over-irrigation and under-irrigation, ensuring optimal soil moisture levels for plant health.

  • Water Level Sensors: For automated monitoring of water reservoir levels, to minimize water wastage.

  • Solenoid Valves and Local Pumps: To control water flow with pinpoint accuracy.

The above components ensure that the irrigation is not just automated but also intelligent, adaptive, and, most importantly, sustainable.

Need a deep-dive into the technical aspects of IoT-based systems? Request our expert analysis.

The Centralized Control System

A Centralized Controller manages all 471 hybrid controllers, providing a unified command center. This eradicates the need for manual monitoring and thereby eliminates the risks of human error in water conservation at large-scale garden terminals.

Remote Monitoring and Alerts

To further ease the irrigation process, the system has built-in SMS alerts for concerned authorities and a master dashboard for real-time updates. Such functionalities make it easier for maintenance teams to act promptly if issues arise, fulfilling our commitment to provide scalable solutions for automated large-scale garden maintenance.

Why Not Other Technologies?

While alternative technologies like drip irrigation or sprinkler systems might come to mind, they lack the intelligent feedback loop that our IoT system offers. Also, they do not work at T2 Garden Terminal simply because the aesthetics and the architecture do not allow. Our solution is uniquely positioned to solve the challenges of maintaining intricate garden designs with diverse flora without compromising on water efficiency.

Integrating with Existing Infrastructure

A unique feature of our solution is its seamless integration with Bengaluru Airport's existing network infrastructure. We established an irrigation-specific VLAN within the BIAL network, ensuring data security through encrypted wireless communication.

VLAN Segmentation

The use of a VLAN offers the benefit of network segmentation, which further improves security and simplifies management. All irrigation-specific devices—soil sensors, zonal controllers, master controllers, etc.—are grouped within this VLAN. By doing so, we've streamlined network policies, allowing for more straightforward troubleshooting and easier application of quality of service (QoS) measures.

How Our IoT Technology Ensures Sustainable and Precise Garden Maintenance

The architecture of this solution is built upon layers of redundancy to ensure fail-safety:

  • Primary and Secondary Master Irrigation Controllers: To ensure that there is no single point of failure.

  • SCADA for Main Irrigation Control: For robust and reliable control mechanisms.

  • Recycling Pumps: In case there's excessive water let out for irrigation, the system has a built-in mechanism to recycle it, further underscoring our commitment to sustainability.

  • 49 Zonal Controllers: To manage different zones of the garden for more precise control and reporting.

Our IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System not only automated the entire process but also optimized water usage. It is precisely what the T2 terminal needed: a solution that prioritizes both form and function.

Implementing a complex IoT solution soon? Our team can help.

Outcomes of the IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System

The integration of cutting-edge technologies like IoT, cloud computing, and real-time data analytics has yielded a harvest of exceptional outcomes. While the focus has always been on achieving irrigation efficiency, the system has far surpassed expectations, pushing the boundaries of what's achievable in intelligent irrigation within an airport terminal like BIAL T2.

Measurable Improvements

  • Water Efficiency: Through real-time soil moisture monitoring and dynamic water distribution, we've achieved a 35% reduction in water consumption compared to traditional irrigation methods.

  • Operational Costs: The reduced water usage coupled with automated operation resulted in a 28% decrease in operational costs.

  • Reliability and Uptime: With 99.8% system uptime, the gardens at BIAL T2 terminal have never looked more lush, directly affecting the overall passenger experience.

  • Resource Optimization: The system enables better human resource allocation, freeing staff to focus on garden aesthetics and improvements rather than labor-intensive manual irrigation.

ROI and Future Scalability

Beyond the immediate benefits, the system lays the foundation for future scalability, given its modular design and cloud-based architecture. The initial ROI is projected to be realized within the first 18 months, making this not just an ecological win but a substantial financial gain.

Data-Driven Decisions

Through advanced analytics and reporting, BIAL can make data-driven decisions for garden maintenance and future landscape planning. Parameters like water usage, soil health, and plant growth rates are just a few of the metrics that can now be quantified, thus introducing a new era of scientific gardening at BIAL T2.

A Move Towards Sustainability

In addition to technological sophistication and security robustness, this solution aligns seamlessly with BIAL's ongoing sustainability initiatives. The precise soil moisture and water level sensors directly target the reduction of water wastage, permitting water to be dispensed only when necessary and in the exact quantities required. The result is a meaningful contribution to water conservation, positioning the BIAL T2 Terminal not only as a technological marvel but also as a benchmark for environmental stewardship in airport infrastructures.

Eager to make your operation more sustainable? Let us help you turn that vision into reality.

A Paradigm Shift in Intelligent Irrigation

The IoT-Based Automatic Irrigation System has not merely been a project but a transformative journey for BIAL T2. By marrying traditional horticulture with next-gen technology, the system has set a precedent for how modern airports can think beyond basic infrastructure to create an aesthetically pleasing yet functionally optimized environment. The meticulously planned and executed project serves as a blueprint for how technology can serve ecological and operational imperatives alike, creating a sustainable and economically viable model for the future.

Elevating Customer Support and Ensuring Seamless Internal Communication at BIAL With Copper

With the recent IT infrastructure overhaul for both their terminals, they are headed in the right direction for the future. But they didn't want to stop there.

Being in a city known for its tech start-ups and industries, catering to the tech-savvy people is a must. BIAL knows that. They wanted to leap ahead into it to provide a seamless experience to their travellers. While addressing that, they also wanted to make their internal communication better.

Aims Set by BIAL

BIAL had two clear goals.

Elevate the customer experience when they contact support with an IVRS solution

The customers now expect an experience when they call support. They hate to wait and being put on hold. Self service is also a necessity for trivial information about gates, flight status, cancellations, reservations and the likes. So, a reliable and efficient support system is a must.

Have seamless and reliable internal communication across their operations

Airport operations are complex. Anyone who has experienced working in that environment knows it. The authorities need to communicate a lot of last-moment occurrences to the concerned personnels. This is where a robust and efficient communication system comes into the picture.

Copper - The Multichannel Customer Support

We deployed Copper - our homegrown customer support tool - to fulfil the goals set by BIAL.

Copper has revolutionized BIAL’s approach to customer service with its dual capabilities. As a sophisticated IVRS, it empowers passengers with the ability to effortlessly navigate through a range of self-service options. Whether checking flight statuses, modifying reservations, or accessing facility information, Copper offers instant, 24/7 support without the need for live agents. Its smart routing feature recognizes when a query requires human intervention and swiftly directs the call to an available support member, eliminating unnecessary wait times.

Enhancing the IVRS, Copper’s contact center functionality shines by enabling passengers to connect with live agents when needed. Recognizing the value of human touch, Copper's interface seamlessly integrates with BIAL’s customer service databases to provide agents with real-time access to passenger information. This integration equips agents with the context needed to deliver personalized support, thereby improving resolution times and passenger satisfaction.

Copper's Impact on Seamless and Reliable Internal Communication

For BIAL’s internal operations, Copper offers more than just a robust IVRS—it's a comprehensive communication nexus. Leveraging its IP telephony infrastructure, Copper facilitates high-priority communication within the airport’s complex ecosystem. The platform supports a dynamic environment where last-minute gate changes, security updates, and operational shifts are the norms. Its intelligent call distribution ensures that crucial information reaches the right personnel, supporting swift decision-making and coordination. This feature is especially beneficial for critical situations requiring immediate action, from emergency responses to unexpected operational challenges.

Impact and Transformation at BIAL

Since the implementation of Copper, BIAL has documented substantial improvements in operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The platform’s ability to balance automated services with personalized human interaction has resulted in a more streamlined passenger experience. Copper’s robust data analytics have enabled BIAL to pinpoint areas for service enhancement, driving continuous improvement in their operations.

Passengers have benefited from reduced wait times and a faster response to inquiries, leading to improved convenience and decreased frustration. Internally, BIAL has witnessed an elevation in staff productivity, as the platform's efficiency has freed employees from mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex, value-added activities.

Concluding it up…

The adoption of Copper at Bangalore International Airport exemplifies a strategic integration of technology in enhancing customer support and internal communications. It stands as a testament to BIAL’s commitment to leveraging innovative solutions to cater to the evolving needs of passengers and streamline internal processes.

Copper's role at BIAL is a blueprint for airports worldwide, showcasing the impact of technology on creating a seamless, efficient, and responsive airport ecosystem. The success story of Copper at BIAL will continue to resonate as the standard for customer-centric and operationally efficient airport systems in the global aviation industry.

Enabling Seamless Wi-Fi Connectivity for Passengers at BIAL

For digital natives in the current generation, the internet is their lifeline. Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) knows how crucial airport Wi-Fi services are. Airports these days are not just travel hubs. They are an experience. BIAL wanted to provide their travelers with an experience like no other.

After revamping the entire IT Infrastructure and deploying state-of-the-art customer support tools, BIAL wanted the internet connectivity within their airport campus to be top-notch.

Integrating and Leveraging BLR Airport App

To cater to the tech-savvy and smartphone-heavy user base, BIAL developed an app called BLR Airport. It served the basic needs of the users - flight status and information, gate updates, schedules, connecting to airport facilities, travel options, shopping and food options, and so on.

With a plethora of features and capabilities, the app is a valuable entity for passengers. It has more than 100,000+ downloads on Google Play Store. BIAL wanted to take it to the next level by integrating airport Wi-Fi services with the app and building on it. BIAL aimed to provide personalized services to the users. BIAL also wanted to increase the profitability of their airport along with the tenants.

Here is where Netcon came into the picture to aid BIAL in achieving its unique goals.

Deploying Cutting-Edge Airport Wi-Fi Onboarding Solution

We integrated Aeropass - our homegrown Wi-Fi onboarding platform - with the BLR Airport app. It solves two pains for BIAL.

Wi-Fi Onboarding

Aeropass provides seamless, quick, and hassle-free Wi-Fi onboarding to users. When integrated with the app, it recognizes the airport network when inside the airport and automatically connects to it. You need not manually log in with your phone number and an OTP.

We achieved this through a combination of pre-configuration in the app, secure credential storage, and communication protocols between the app, the user's device, and the Wi-Fi infrastructure. Let us walk you through the steps involved.

  • Users initially create an account on the BLR Airport app.

  • The app requests permissions for Wi-Fi and location services during or after installation.

  • Once registered, the app encrypts the user's credentials and stores them locally.

  • The app uses location services to determine when the user is in proximity to the Bangalore Airport. If yes, it concurrently scans for available Wi-Fi networks.

  • The app communicates with the Wi-Fi infrastructure using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and secure protocols.

  • It exchanges a token and performs a secure handshake. It then instructs the phone to connect to the network.

  • The app continuously verifies the device’s proximity to the network and will re-authenticate whenever necessary.

Once the user has created an account, the app will keep using location services and Wi-Fi to check if the device is in the proximity of Bangalore Airport. If yes, it will seamlessly connect to it, reducing the hassle for the passenger. When a new user who does not have the app installed tries to connect to the airport Wi-Fi, it will prompt the user to download the app.

Personalized Services

What we did by integrating Aeropass with the BLR Airport app is enable BIAL and its tenants to push personalized services through the app. Based on your past interactions with the app, you can unveil prioritised, high-speed internet. For example, a new user may only be able to browse the internet at 20 MBPS, but an existing user with a favorable record can surf at 50 MBPS. More avid users can also have a higher data limit.

The tenants can use the user data to push personalized notifications when in the vicinity to attract them. It is a win-win for both the tenants and the passengers. Passengers can have better offers, and the tenants can be more profitable by carefully catering to the right people in the right manner.

The Impact?

The integration of Aeropass with the BLR Airport app has created a transformative impact for Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) in multiple dimensions.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

The level of customer satisfaction has skyrocketed thanks to the added convenience. The smooth onboarding experience has led to an increased engagement with the BLR Airport app. The overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) for airport services has seen a significant uptick since the integration.

Monetizing Customer Insights

The most important impact that Aeropass had on the BIAL is that the passenger data that used to go to the internet service provider now resides with them. It is a strategic advantage that cannot be overstated. It has opened new avenues for data-driven decision-making. They can analyze trends in user behavior to optimize various aspects of airport management such as crowd control, inventory planning for retail and food outlets, and even predicting Wi-Fi usage peaks to ensure sufficient bandwidth allocation.

Boosting Tenant Profitability

On the retail side, tenants can now more effectively target offers and promotions based on rich, data-driven insights. The data pulled from the app allows for hyper-personalized marketing, drastically increasing conversion rates and thereby profitability for the tenants. The result is a synergistic environment where everyone benefits—BIAL sees higher rental returns from more successful tenants, and the tenants enjoy increased revenue streams.

To Sum It All Up…

BIAL has set a new standard by integrating cutting-edge technology into its customer-facing solutions. Partnering with Netcon, and implementing the Aeropass Wi-Fi onboarding platform, has proved to be a game-changer. It has elevated the passenger experience to unprecedented levels and also created a fertile ground for data-driven strategies, operational excellence, and symbiotic profitability for both BIAL and its tenants.

By putting the passenger first and weaving technology into the fabric of its services, BIAL has successfully transformed from a mere transit point to a digital ecosystem that enriches the passenger journey at every touchpoint.

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Forward together means questioning the status quo. Disrupt. Innovate. Break it, then build it better. We're not passengers; we're the engineers of tomorrow's tech landscape.

Forward together means embracing the collective. Relationships power our servers and drive our solutions. Your wins are our wins, your challenges beckon our brilliance. Collaboration isn't a method; it's our lifeforce.

Forward together, we carry the mantle of sustainability. We don't just occupy space on this Earth; we vow to leave it better. Eco-ethical codes aren't buzzwords; they're in our codebase.

Strive, but never alone. Reach, but always in tandem. At the crossroads of passion and profession, you'll find balance. You'll find life.

When the trek gets tough, lean on the fortitude of the collective. Seek inspiration in our shared purpose, find courage in our unified resolve.

You're no mere employee; you're the next chapter in a storied lineage. You are Netcon. You are the manifesto. So, carry these words. Let them guide, let them ignite.

Forward Together. Welcome to the vanguard of change. Your mission begins now. Welcome to Netcon.

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© Copyright 2024 Netcon Technologies. All rights reserved. All logos and trademarks used belong to their respective owners.

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Together.

Forward together means questioning the status quo. Disrupt. Innovate. Break it, then build it better. We're not passengers; we're the engineers of tomorrow's tech landscape.

Forward together means embracing the collective. Relationships power our servers and drive our solutions. Your wins are our wins, your challenges beckon our brilliance. Collaboration isn't a method; it's our lifeforce.

Forward together, we carry the mantle of sustainability. We don't just occupy space on this Earth; we vow to leave it better. Eco-ethical codes aren't buzzwords; they're in our codebase.

Strive, but never alone. Reach, but always in tandem. At the crossroads of passion and profession, you'll find balance. You'll find life.

When the trek gets tough, lean on the fortitude of the collective. Seek inspiration in our shared purpose, find courage in our unified resolve.

You're no mere employee; you're the next chapter in a storied lineage. You are Netcon. You are the manifesto. So, carry these words. Let them guide, let them ignite.

Forward Together. Welcome to the vanguard of change. Your mission begins now. Welcome to Netcon.

Enter the fold
Subscribe to our newsletter

© Copyright 2024 Netcon Technologies. All rights reserved. All logos and trademarks used belong to their respective owners.