CBRS & Private LTE for Education: Improving Campus Connectivity

August 27th, 2020

The post below is a reprint of a BLiNQ blog article from August 2020. Alliance Corporation is proud to be a Value-Added Distributor for BLiNQ in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, a fast, reliable and secure wireless connection is a lifeline for the education sector. Schools, colleges and universities are facing more and more connectivity challenges while serving their students, staff and faculty. 

Educators, school districts and university administrations have had to quickly adapt to e-learning and utilize new technologies such as augmented reality, digital record keeping and high-speed campus-wide wireless services to keep up with unprecedented connectivity demands. Some have even resorted to setting up costly cellular hotspot devices for their students.

That’s why finding low-cost, quick and effective wireless connectivity solutions is extremely important to educational institutions nowadays. One promising opportunity that they can capitalize on for connecting students and teachers is private LTE network deployments in the Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band.

How Can CBRS Benefit Schools and Universities

Private LTE and CBRS offer limitless options for customization so you can tailor your network deployments to best suit your needs. Essentially, with CBRS spectrum sharing rules, a school or a university can reserve their own dedicated spectrum to deploy LTE networks. This allows campus IT teams to have more visibility and control over their networks.

With CBRS LTE, educational institutions can offer a better student experience, enhance campus safety and reduce operational costs. Not only can these high-performance private LTE networks deliver reliable on-campus connectivity for K-12 schools and colleges, but they can also bridge the digital divide with off-campus connectivity for disadvantaged students at home.

Use Cases for CBRS LTE in Education

Remote Buildings and Students

Schools and universities can leverage CBRS to provide high-speed wireless services throughout the campus, in stadiums and sports venues, in dorms and even in unconnected buildings and students by placing CBRS-certified CPE there.

Smart Classrooms

By leveraging CBRS LTE networks, schools and universities can equip their physical campus spaces with better digital capabilities. Students and teachers can utilize augmented and virtual reality, better video streaming, and smart boards and podiums to make learning more interactive and productive.

Safety and Security

CBRS LTE provides reliable and secure wireless connectivity for campus security control and monitoring to keep everyone on campus safer. It can be used to build a complete campus security system with campus blue light emergency phones, surveillance security cameras, sensors, alarms, smart ID cards and more. 

Campus Transportation Tracking

With longer ranges, better roaming and lower latency, CBRS LTE technology can seamlessly deliver mobile connectivity to campus vehicles, allowing students to track when their buses will be arriving and enabling staff to keep in touch with security cars and maintenance vehicles.

Facilities & Building Management

Campus staff and administrators can better streamline operations and manage large campus buildings more efficiently with CBRS LTE. By extending IT visibility and control to utilities and campus assets, infrastructure management can be automated with real-time monitoring.

Funding Opportunities for CBRS LTE Network Deployments

Recognizing the central role of broadband access and wireless connectivity, the American government offers grants and funding through the CARES Act Education Stabilization Fund and E-Rate Program to help education institutions connect students and teachers. If your institution or school district is receiving some of that funding, your grant can be put towards the deployment of your CBRS network for distance learning.

How Can BLiNQ’s Experts Help?

BLiNQ Networks’ LTE technology enables educational institutions to build their own private, standards-based, carrier-grade broadband wireless network. By leveraging Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) your institution can deliver fast on-campus and off-campus wireless connectivity.

Download the free CBRS deployment checklist to know what steps you need to take to start deploying your school district’s or university’s LTE network in CBRS.

Contact Alliance today to find out how BLiNQ can help you.