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CROUS* is the French State Managed PBSA in France, amongst many other PBSA operators, they are closely working with the French Universities, providing accommodations next to the main Universities in France.
They also help and manage all things related to student scholarships since they are connected to the French Government. They look after more than 2.7 millions students each year.
Cnous**, following a public call for tenders, has today renewed its partnership with Wifirst to equip 175 000 accommodation units with WiFi in 700 residences within the student social service centre network.
As part of an 80-month contract, Wifirst has committed, through the PlanetCampus label, to providing a high-performance and scalable service that will absorb residents' Internet traffic, which is consistently increasing.
The PlanetCampus label is part of the overall approach of the CROUS centres, which aim to promote improved living conditions for students, guaranteeing the best chance for success. Access to very high performance Internet has naturally become a necessity for the success of their studies.
"Internet like at home or even better than at home was a prerequisite for the invitation to tender and a requirement for any student staying in a CROUS residence. The student is a particularly informed user who expects the best from “their internet” both for their educational pathway and for the extra-curricular activities of college life. The PlanetCampus system was deemed to fulfil this demand for quality and innovation. It enables the CROUS to continue developing “digital” residences where connected objects take on their full role of providing an ever increasing range of services to the student” explains Michel Affre, Digital Director at Cnous.
Wifirst has therefore proposed to develop its homogeneous connectivity solution throughout the CROUS network, so that each student has a technological base allowing them to benefit from a connection experience and speeds that are in line with today's typical use, but also ready for the needs of tomorrow:
PlanetCampus is the new name for the Student Accommodation WiFi services deployed by Wifirst, which replaces the previous “SmartCampus” solution. The word “Campus” evokes the notions of community, sharing and conviviality, while “Planet” brings the notions of ecology, responsibility, diversity and mobility; perceptions that all help to echo the aim of the CROUS, to always enrich student life.
Training, employment, administrative procedures, health, entertainment ... The use of new technologies and the internet in particular is an intrinsic part of daily life for 18-25 year olds. In terms of data, more than 70 GB per student is consumed on average each month using Wifirst facilities, with Netflix in the lead (26% of streamed content), followed by giant Google (22%). Next come a variety of content providers: Facebook (10%), Akamai (7%) and Twitch (5%).
Using a continuous innovation approach, Wifirst's internal R&D teams are constantly developing new products and services to support student residences in their digital transformation. By committing to connecting all CROUS residences with optical fibre, Wifirst will be able to offer a major innovation: private WiFi for each resident.
An original idea created by Wifirst, the Private Area Network enables private WiFi “like at home”, accessible everywhere throughout the building, without compromising on security (whether it be to synchronise various devices with a Google Home account, stream on Chromecast or simply use a WiFi printer to print out course notes).
Drawing on its experience with the CROUS, Wifirst wanted to enhance its close relationship with students, the end users of the service. In line with the new uses of this generation, Wifirst has set up a multichannel customer service system accessible 24/7 and compliant with GDPR: online chat, Facebook Messenger and private messages using the Twitter network have enhanced the support system to respond to the expectations of 18-25 year olds.
At the same time, Wifirst has revised its customer journey so that it meets the exact needs of the CROUS:
PlanetCampus has already been deployed in more than 700 university residences ready for the start of the September academic year, representing more than 140,000 rooms. Gradually, all residences will adopt the service representing a total of 175,000 housing units covered by the PlanetCampus service.
“Our history with Cnous is a real source of inspiration and reflection for the internal teams who are developing ever more innovative solutions to meet the requirements of students who are particularly demanding in terms of level and quality of service,” explains Eloïse Brisson, Head of Strategic Accounts at Wifirst.
About the CROUS* and CNOUS**
CROUS stands for: Regional Center of the Universities and Scholars works. CNOUS stands for the National Center. They are the State managed PBSA in France. The mission of the CROUS is to improve the living conditions of students on a daily basis, and consists of a unique network in France of 27 regional public establishments spread throughout the country. They offer students comprehensive social support and manage all financial assistance grants. The CROUS provide students with more than 175,000 accommodation units in 750 university residences in France. Additionally, the CROUS is working toward offering quality low cost catering to all students (one euro for scholarship students) with 800 catering structures. In addition, with their various partners, the CROUS support student initiatives, offer a high level programme of cultural action and lead proactive policies to revitalise and enliven spaces dedicated to student life.