University of Miami, AT&T Bring 5G, Edge Computing to Transform Experiential Learning

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The University of Miami and AT&T are rolling out a 5G and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) environment on the Coral Gables campus to help support innovative teaching and research methods.

This makes the University the first college campus in the nation to adopt AT&T’s 5G using millimeter wave (“5G+”) and commercially available MEC technology, allowing students and faculty to more efficiently pursue scholarly activities through Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform.

“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 the University. “It 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.”

AT&T’s 5G+ technology uses millimeter wave spectrum, providing ultra-fast speeds, lower latency and the ability to connect a massive number of mobile devices. Multi-access Edge Computing will let the University 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.

“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, AT&T Business. “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.”

AT&T will begin rolling out AT&T 5G+ service and AT&T MEC at the University of Miami before the end of this year and is expected to be completed by Spring 2020. Access to the 5G+ network will initially be in high-traffic computing locations, such as at the College of Engineering, the Otto G. Richter Library and in the School of Architecture, with plans to add more 5G+ zones throughout campus.

“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, added.

The 5G+ and edge compute technologies will power the University’s Magicverse, a spatial computing platform from Magic Leap that blends virtual content with the physical environment. People can see and interact with virtual objects in the authentic space around them while wearing Magic Leap One headsets.

Last fall, Magic Leap and the University invited faculty and students to experience the Magicverse, generating ideas for using spatial computing technology across academic disciplines. Since then, more than 30 applications that use the Magic Leap technology have been developed on the University’s campuses.

“Magic Leap and the University of Miami are committed to implementing the Magicverse. Realizing this requires a level of data infrastructure that supports the highest fidelity digital experiences with ultra-low latency,” said Omar Khan, chief product officer, Magic Leap. “Our collaborators at AT&T have always seen the potential of the Magicverse, and their 5G+ infrastructure is a crucial component to the success of this project on the University’s campus.”