How 5G connectivity will revolutionize education

Imagine a group of students in a business school discussing a case in an assembly line of a company, but actually wearing Augmented Reality (AR) glasses and without leaving the classroom. They discuss the case while seeing in real-time data about the processes, logistics and costs of some of the elements around them.

This is just one example of how connectivity could revolutionize the educational experience. In order to test various prototypes that could be deployed in future programs, Cellnex and IESE Business School have announced the installation as a test of a 5G mobile network on the Barcelona campus, in collaboration with MasMóvil. The prototypes deployed by Cellnex will integrate 5G, Edge Computing and AR.

One of the prototypes tested combines Edge Computing with a small 5G antenna and AR glasses, allowing a user to play a computer-generated game in any environment. In the future, it could allow students to discuss cases in remote locations in real time without leaving the classroom.

It also comes at a time when we are seeing an acceleration in trends like blended learning, virtual networking and remote work, meaning the improved experiences 5G enhanced technologies and Edge Computing can bring will facilitate many applications in education and work. Some of them could be using VR to broadcast a session recorded in 360 degrees with 4K resolution to thousands of 5G mobiles, create new learning experiences combined with virtual objects, or design real-time simulations for work teams.

IESE is one of the first business schools in Europe to test 5G wireless prototypes on campus. According to Franz Heukamp, Dean of IESE Business School, “anticipating trends and experiencing new approaches, as typified by this collaboration with Cellnex, are an essential part of providing the best possible learning experience for our participants. At IESE, we are always looking to provide cutting-edge insights and new methodologies on our programs to help participants grow both personally and professionally. This is just one of many advancements that we are preparing in this regard.”

With 5G mobile phones soon to hit the market, the types of organizations looking to utilize the untapped potential of such connectivity will also only increase to take advantage of the potential of a wireless experience up to one hundred times faster than 4G and with much less latency. According to Oscar Pallarols, Global Commercial and Innovation Director at Cellnex, “we are going to see a dramatic growth in 5G adoption across sectors in the forthcoming years. This collaboration is a clear example of the many that will follow in the education sector.”

By 2025, the number of worldwide 5G subscribers is expected to hit 2.6 billion, while average mobile data consumption is also projected to climb from 7.2GB to 24GB per smartphone. In real terms, that accounts for being able to stream a 30-minute HD video a day during your commute, including a six-minute clip of virtual reality.

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