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In spite of the deployment of wireless access networks, such as meshes and WiFi backbones in cities, the potential and limitations of such networks is still unclear. Deployed networks have a limited ability to gather data or experimentally deploy new protocols, whereas lab testbeds are often limited in scale and lack real applications traffic. This paper presents MagNets, a next-generation wireless access network deployed in the city of Berlin. MagNets is a joint research-operational testbed that offers connectivity to students, but still allows for experimental deployment of new protocols. We describe the work breakdown and lessons learnt from the design and deployment process. In addition, initial measurement results highlight the potential to shed light on the suitability of wireless technology for next-generation access networks.