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Connecting Higher Ed and K-12 – The Perfect Fit to Deploy a Private Mobile Network

Enable educational campuses with the mobility they require for today’s modern students and faculty with a private mobile network.
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BY JEFF DUCHARME, RVP ENTERPRISE SALES

There are numerous challenges when it comes to connectivity across K-12 school districts and University and College campuses relating to Wi-Fi interference, accessibility to affordable broadband options, reliable coverage across campus, etc.

Educational campuses require mobility for today’s modern students and faculty. There are many challenges associated with Wi-Fi technology that are well-known by the technology managers in this realm. Schools run on wireless, which until now has been missing some key components such as; places where there are RF blind spots and interference, Wi-Fi may not provide satisfactory coverage, and although Wi-Fi provides “portability,” it does not provide real “mobility” like a private mobile network (PMN) would for the school. 

In the K-12 sector there are 5.4M students that have no broadband or a computer at home. And, 84% of the nation’s K-12 teachers report the digital divide, a gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, is growing in their classrooms due to unequal access to essential learning technology resources at home.

Higher education campuses continue to have difficulty getting reliable coverage across campus and traditional wireless carriers still have unreliable coverage pockets when traveling throughout a large area. They have hard-to-reach locations both inside and outside campus and a stable infrastructure is a must to ensure the safety of students and personnel.

The Alef Edge Platform handles the deterministic connectivity required by each application. We don’t discern between Private 5G vs Private 4G vs Private 3G, we handle it all in a very intelligent, efficient manner via our SDK. So, if a school system wants us to be the Mobile Edge ComputeMore company that delivers connectivity to ultra low-latency technology of the future, we can be that platform, but we are also the platform that supports today’s applications without adding complexity to their IT infrastructure. 

Here is how the education sector is taking advantage of the Alef platform:

One

Deployment inside the school firewall is seamless. Schools are replacing their traditional public mobility service (i.e. standard 5G/LTE from T-Mobile or Verizon) with PMN’s. PMN’s offer more security because they sit behind the firewall and eliminates the need for device-specific licensing and multiple Identity and Access Management (IAM) portals because we can integrate directly into what the school currently has for IAM or Information Technology Service Management (ITSM).

2

Massive cost advantage for schools and communities versus traditional carrier solutions. Add additional spectrum to the infrastructure at a very low cost, with federal funding available for K-12 school districts and communities, or in Universities and Colleges we offer industry groundbreaking unit economics derived from edge point architecture.

3

Complement Wi-Fi with a PMN with a wider reach, both indoor and outdoor, and immediately connect to applications and devices currently out of reach by Wi-Fi. Since Alef operates on a different spectrum than Wi-Fi, we eliminate interference between applications fighting for the same signal. PMN’s also offer better handoff while on the move, whether it be from building-to-building, AP-to-AP, or if the school has any issues with Wi-Fi signals not penetrating through walls in their buildings.

4

As schools begin to deploy ultra low-latency applications (i.e. AR/VR) or virtual classrooms in the Metaverse, they will already have the connectivity in place to execute.  We reduce network hops since we operate on the edge of the network over the public 5G/LTE.

Day one solutions for the education sector: 

Turn static signage into digital for increased marketing, enable security equipment such as cameras and sensors for asset tracking, enable POS systems at stadiums and venues to be mobile for increased sales, and add to value to your student innovation labs to enable mobile programming and mobile learning. 

This is also a day one break-fix for anywhere that the Wi-Fi signal is not quite strong enough, or accessible altogether, including outdoors.

Shortened from months to days. 

There are numerous benefits as well that are specific to Alef. We are hardware agnostic in the event that schools have existing “radios,” and we can deploy the private network in hours and scale in minutes with our APIs. Also, our overall cost structure is a game changer for schools as we do not increase the cost to run a Private Mobile Network as more applications/devices/buildings are added for a very low cost.

Get in touch with me: [email protected]

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