eduroam Visitor Access enables higher education and research institute visitors to access the secure and trusted eduroam Wi-Fi network. The service can provide temporary access to the eduroam network in a simple and secure manner.
eVA provides a mechanism that allows authorised staff at eduroam participating institutions to sponsor a visitor and issue temporary credentials to that person for a defined period. Institutional admin can determine who is eligible to sponsor visitors, and how long those visitors may gain access. Events such as conferences can be catered for by allowing delegates to SMS a keyword to a defined number and get an eduroam visitor account in response. By using SMS, we ensure that a valid cellphone number is linked to each account that is created.
The eVA service was developed by SURFnet in The Netherlands and is now available in a number of countries, including South Africa.
The South African instance of the eVA service can only be made to South African institutions that run their own eduroam identity provider, and who are already participating in the South African Identity Federation (SAFIRE). The reason for this is that eVA makes extensive use of the affiliation information that is provided by the Federation and cannot operate successfully without it.
If your higher education or research institute is interested in using eduroam Visitor Access, please get your eduroam administrator to contact us for more information.
In South Africa, we're make use of a stand-alone version of eVA and are have been running the service with selected institutions since mid-2019. We're the first NREN to use eVA in this way.
While it technically remains a best-effort pilot service because of the levels of takeup, eVA is configured as a production-ready service and is maintained and backed up in much the same way as other eduroam infrastructure. This means that the service has proven stable and reliable enough to use for real-world visitors and events, and we would encourage more eduroam participants to do adopt the service for this.
In order to comply with the South African eduroam policy and the underlying legislation, South African institutions may only provide visitor access to people who are over the age of eighteen. We've made a note of this on the eVA dashboard and in the manuals. (This is not a restriction in The Netherlands, where eduroam can be provided to K-12 learners.)