While Federated Wireless’s partnership with T-Mobile and AWS was front and center at Cal Poly’s converged 4G/5G wireless network ribbon-cutting on May 25, the full ecosystem of partners powering the innovative network went far beyond what met the naked eye.
In fact, other major stars of the show were firmly fixed behind the scenes of Cal Poly’s private wireless network with Neutral Host 2.0™ for carrier extension, which operates in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band and uses a communication hub running on AWS Snowball Edge device to support private connectivity services provided by the university and connectivity for T-Mobile subscribers.
A unique, best-in-class network comprised of multiple layers of services intended to deliver the most data-intensive, cutting-edge use cases demands best-in-class, innovative hardware and software providers to support and manage it.
Core network provider Druid, a global leader in specialized core network software, provided the 4G/5G packet core and neutral host gateway that sit at the heart of the converged solution. Complementing it, Airspan CBRS radios were carefully chosen due to their versatility in supporting both 4G and 5G networks. With their scalability, interoperability, and adaptability to both indoor and outdoor settings, the radios ensure seamless connectivity across all areas of Cal Poly’s campus.
Out front at the ribbon-cutting were a number of cutting-edge demonstrations running on Cal Poly’s supercharged network. GPS-enabled, battery-free IoT Pixel tags and sensors produced by the innovative IoT platform provider Wiliot were being used to show next-generation asset tracking and temperature monitoring in real time.
Wiliot’s IoT Pixels enable every object to become intelligent. By integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence in the cloud, the Wiliot Platform provides advanced sensing capabilities such as temperature and location. The Pixels wirelessly connect objects to the Internet using a network of Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones and access points.
Cal Poly students demonstrated the cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) work instruction software Taqtile, which enables immersive, interactive AR experiences that support hands-on learning.
Donning Magic Leap AR headsets and wielding Magic Leap controllers, students illustrated how Taqtile combines AR technology with intelligent software solutions to deliver dynamic work instructions in real time. By overlaying digital information onto the physical world, Taqtile enabled students to receive step-by-step guidance, contextual information, and visual cues directly in their field of view.
The AR-driven approach to work instruction software empowers students to perform complex tasks with greater accuracy and speed while participating in hands-on learning. Taqtile is also empowering Cal Poly’s teaching teams, by providing robust analytics and reporting capabilities that enable detailed insights into user interactions, completion rates, task durations, and other proficiency indicators.
The result of the robust ecosystem of partners that converged to create Cal Poly’s innovative new network? Use cases that are as innovative and broadly applicable as they come.
To provide enhanced connectivity and safety across campus, T-Mobile service can be accessed using the 4G neutral host over CBRS to enhance the coverage experience in places where it’s hard for the cell signal to reach, including indoor areas like Cal Poly’s state-of-the-art William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation building and remote outdoor areas like the Poly Canyon hiking trails. This coverage ensures that students have mobile connectivity and can make a 911 call if needed.
Students can now easily self-provision their mobile devices with an embedded subscriber identity model (eSIM) to stream class videos and use data-intensive applications through unmetered broadband over the private wireless network.
Advanced 5G innovation and research is enabled with high-speed, ultra-low-latency 5G connectivity on Cal Poly’s private wireless network. This connectivity is what made it possible for students to run the Taqtile software they demonstrated at the event.
The partner ecosystem responsible for delivering Cal Poly’s powerful new network represents far more than “just” the convergence of interoperable technologies. It represents the future of what is possible when leaders in higher education bring industry partners to the table to deliver on a shared vision.