The University of Miami is poised to become the first campus in the nation to adopt a new technology that could speed and expand computing time and mobile app tools, according to the school and the providing company.
AT&T plans to roll out 5G+ millimeter wave and Multi-access Edge Computing technology on the Coral Gables campus, with a target completion date in spring 2020.
The goal is to help support innovative teaching and research methods.
“In collaboration with AT&T, the University of Miami will soon be able to support 5G+ and Edge technology on its Coral Gables campus, placing the university at the forefront of digital transformation impacting every field,” said Ernie Fernandez, vice president of Information Technology and chief information officer for UM.
In comments on UM’s News&TheU website, Fernandez said the adoption of the new technology, “will allow students, faculty, and staff to develop, test, and use the next generation of digital apps, including Magic Leap’s mixed reality platform, in new and exciting ways.”
According to the telecommunications company, AT&T’s 5G+ technology uses millimeter wave spectrum technology to boost computing speeds and to connect “a massive number of mobile devices,” which, given students’ use of smartphone apps as tools of education in the classroom, could facilitate learning.
Multi-access Edge Computing is also designed to allow institutions, like UM, to shift from using remote data centers to processing information in localized servers.
“This transition leads to faster access to data processing and could mean new machine learning opportunities and more types of connected devices,” AT&T said in its news release.
“Combining 5G and edge technology at the University of Miami powers a new category of educational experiences that we haven’t seen before. Then when paired with Magic Leap, we can ultimately provide unprecedented digital learning and development opportunities,” said Anne Chow, CEO of AT&T Business, in the release.
“These powerful next-generation networking solutions will help change how students learn, research and interact with the world around them. And, it will impact the way administrators conduct everything from campus operations to the safety of students.”
The new service begins rolling out by year’s end and is expected to be implemented in the spring semester.
Access will initially center at high-traffic computing locations at the College of Engineering, the Otto G. Richter Library and in the School of Architecture.
There are plans to then add more 5G+ zones throughout the Coral Gables campus. Magic Leap One headsets will allow users to see and interact with virtual objects, AT&T said.
“The computing power of your handheld device will increase tremendously by allowing really complicated applications and analyses to be performed at the edge and answers or solutions returned to your device as part of the 5G+ and Edge environment. The beautiful part also is the extension beyond to the arts and humanities. We are proud to be the pioneering university in this new arena,” Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, said for News&TheU.