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UC Berkeley Boosts WiFi and Mobile Broadband Service

University of California, Berkeley has installed technology to improve WiFi and mobile broadband service across campus, including its residence halls, academic and administrative buildings, and football stadium.

The university installed new WiFi service from AT&T. According to the company, the service will provide students, faculty, and visitors with improved WiFi coverage on the campus-wide AirBears WiFi system, so they can access the Internet from anywhere on their smartphones and tablets without using their monthly data plans.

"Learning doesn't happen in one place, it happens everywhere," said Michael Green, director of telecommunications for the university, in a prepared statement. "As a result of the expanded coverage, students will now have information at their fingertips across campus, enabling them to share ideas and resources with one another immediately."

The university also installed a new distributed antenna system (DAS) from AT&T to boost mobile broadband coverage and capacity at Griffiths Hall and Etcheverry Hall. DAS technology uses antennas that are tuned to match the area of large venues and other hard-to-serve areas where boosted service is needed. According to AT&T, it boosts mobile broadband coverage, improves call reliability in heavily trafficked areas, increases data traffic capacity, and enables more consistent network access on campus.

The university also installed cellular on wheels (COWs) technology from AT&T at Memorial Stadium. COWs are mobile cell sites on a truck that include a cellular antenna tower and electronic radio receiver equipment. According to the company, they are designed to boost network capacity and performance during large events, such as football games, when traffic increases exponentially.

"Students no longer have to run to the rooftop to make a call," said Skyler Rojas, co-chair of the Student Technology Council, in a prepared statement. "Thanks to the network investment in our campus, we are now able to connect no matter what we are doing — whether that is cheering on the Cal Bears at Memorial Stadium or studying for finals at Griffiths Hall."

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university located in Berkeley, CA, serving approximately 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students and employing more than 2,000 full and part-time faculty members.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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