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Purdue U To Deploy 4G as Part of Wireless Rollout

Purdue University will be one of the early recipients of Verizon Wireless' rollout of a 4G network starting this year. This fourth generation data network, which is using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, is expected to provide four to 10 times the transmission speeds currently available in 3G networks.

The institution was chosen to participate in the deployment based on its track record with using mobile technology to enhance learning, according to Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon. Recent technologies developed at Purdue include Mixable, an academic integration with Facebook; a student discussion tool, HotSeat, which allows students to interact with classmates and faculty with Twitter and text messages; and eStadium, to deliver athletic game services to spectators.

The university also contracted with Verizon Business to implement a campuswide 802.11n wireless network, which will encompass 6,000 access points in 256 buildings. That project is expected to be completed in the 2010-2011 academic year.

Verizon said the broader rollout of 4G will include 38 metropolitan areas and 60 commercial airports, including Indianapolis International Airport, located within 90 minutes of the West Lafayette-based university. The company is currently installing LTE equipment at existing cell sites and switching centers around the United States.

"Our partnership with Purdue will explore the next phase of how 4G technology can improve education across our nation," said McAdam.

Verizon Wireless said it expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps on the downlink and 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments.

"At Purdue, the advancement of mobile technology is critically important--both to students and faculty. The addition of Verizon's 4G network will contribute in a noticeable way to their success," said Gerry McCartney, Purdue's CIO and vice president for IT.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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