- 11 Sep 2023
Achieving high expectations in higher education
Technology is ubiquitous in the modern education system and today’s students are digitally literate, helping them to approach problems differently. It’s no surprise that they expect great connectivity everywhere.
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Mike Harrison, Head of Products and Solutions at Cellnex UK, explores how today’s 4G/5G connectivity solutions are transforming the student experience – ensuring that colleges and universities can boost their campus appeal to attract new students.
Today’s digital natives are voracious consumers and publishers of online content and social media. According to research firm Statistica, 99% of those aged 16-24 in the UK, now own a smartphone and spend upwards of four hours a day on their devices.
For this demographic, great mobile coverage wherever they go is a key expectation. When it comes to selecting which university or college to attend, knowing their phone will work well on campus can be a contributory factor. As the competition to attract students intensifies, poor mobile coverage could impact brand reputation. Students also understand that connectivity is vital for group projects, in order to collaborate and rehearse on-line.
Why demand for mobile connectivity is growing
Areas of poor or non-existent connectivity can impact the smooth operation of the campus.
It’s not just the student population that expects to be able to use their mobile phones to seamlessly talk and message friends and family throughout the day. Faculty staff and partner organisations also depend on mobile coverage to work efficiently. Coverage not-spots and areas of poor connectivity also hamper the ability of the people tasked with health and safety responsibilities to systematically undertake their duties.
But that’s not the only reason why demand for great indoor mobile coverage is on the up. To enhance the student experience, universities and colleges are now offering a host of student services such as cashless laundry and refectory apps. Crucially, many institutions are now building on learning methods initiated during pandemic-related lockdowns. These include video and audio sessions with tutors and peers to improve education outcomes.
Addressing the campus connectivity challenge
All too often the mobile coverage indoors fails to match the experience outside.
Thick concrete or stone walls, brick and steel structures and the increased use of metallised-glass can reduce signal strength or block it completely. This results in missed and dropped calls and slow mobile internet. Engagement opportunities are missed, the smooth delivery of services compromised, and student satisfaction plummets as frustrations rise.
It’s a situation that’s set to worsen as today’s 4G networks transition to 5G connectivity. That’s because 5G signals operate at a higher frequency, which makes them even more sensitive to disruption by physical infrastructure.
Addressing this connectivity challenge is becoming a top commercial priority for colleges and universities. They need a multi-carrier solution to ensure that everyone who studies, works or visits the campus can consistently connect to their network.
Closing the experience gap in higher education
Today’s in-building connectivity solutions are revolutionising how higher education institutions increase mobile coverage across their campus. Options like distributed antenna systems (DAS) can deliver consistent 4G and 5G mobile signals and improve the user experience.
All Cellnex In-Building Solutions are designed and built to rigorous industry specifications, with network management and 24×7 monitoring provided as standard. Plus, they are compatible with every mobile network operator – which means no user is excluded from enjoying optimised connectivity.
With a proven track record in the UK’s education sectors – deploying connectivity solutions that provide a best-in-class experience for users – we can help your institution cost effectively close those coverage and capacity gaps.
To find out more, or discuss your specific requirements, get in touch at In-BuildingSolutions@cellnextelecom.co.uk