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Spain’s Mondragon University embraces education of the future with Huawei Wi-Fi 6

Spain’s Mondragon University embraces education of the future with Huawei Wi-Fi 6

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Huawei and WBA announced that a series of Wi-Fi 6 verification tests will be carried out at Mondragon University to explore the different use cases in higher education and lay a solid foundation for immersive education.

Established in 1997, Mondragon University is a non-profit cooperative private university in Spain’s Basque region, ranked the eighth best university in the country according to CYD Ranking (which ranks all of Spain’s universities). The university is part of the Mondragon Corporation, the 10th largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the top business group in the Basque Country, with operations in five continents.

Mondragon University provides a unique education and innovation model designed to meet the educational and social needs of a new era, offering comprehensive education, and knowledge generation and transfer to help accelerate greater social transformation. Adopting a truly student-centric model that redefines how students and teachers interact, teachers become coaches and more like peers, breaking the traditional model.

Students learn by honing leadership, teamwork, communication, problem solving, decision-making and other practical real-world skills, rather than just learning limited academic skills.

Traditional networks constrain emerging teaching methods

Today, traditional classrooms are being disrupted by new teaching methods. Indeed, a variety of immersive teaching methods — such as online live streaming, remote education, and Virtual Reality (VR) — are becoming increasingly common, transforming classroom dynamics.

Adapting to such change is integral to Mondragon University’s philosophy and establishing reliable, stable Wi-Fi access to a variety of applications — anytime, anywhere — is one of the university’s top priorities. However, there were a number of challenges to overcome before that could happen, including serious network roaming issues in teaching areas, frequent and unrecoverable disconnections in classrooms and corridors, uneven signal coverage in residential areas and unstable network access speeds.

With students and teachers plagued by poor network access, the university decided to directly address these pain points and looked to upgrade the wireless network.

Verified by PoC Tests, Huawei Wi-Fi 6 delivers exceptional user experience

After learning about specific network objectives and existing problems from the university’s IT team, Huawei cooperated with local partners to set up a test environment with the aim of delivering a seamless Wi-Fi experience for students and teachers — a process that took just one and a half days.

Featuring smart antennas, Huawei AP5760-10s were deployed in corridors where wireless signals move with users, providing intelligent gain signals for irregular coverage areas. Meanwhile, AP7060DNs — Access Points (APs) that are adept at handling a high number of concurrent users — were deployed in classrooms. For dormitories, an agile distributed Wi-Fi solution was deployed: one Resource Unit (RU) was deployed in each dormitory to extend wireless signals to every corner, allowing students to enjoy a high-quality network experience.

The test period lasted for one month, generating a significant amount of data for the university’s IT team. Indeed, during the test, they were able to witness first-hand the superior performance of Huawei APs, especially when there were a large number of users at the same time. A survey was also conducted to further verify Huawei’s Wi-Fi 6 performance and almost all teachers rated the new network experience highly, proving an obvious improvement over the original Meraki network. According to the feedback, there were no longer roaming disconnections and network access speeds were fast and stable.

Student-centric education — new ways to cultivate talent

Mondragon University’s unique education model delivers high-quality education to students’ fingertips, promoting real-world career skills and values. Plus, given that the university is a part of the Mondragon Group — a conglomerate with 257 companies — it can offer students tangible, first-hand experience of a working environment and many students even get the chance to directly participate in an enterprise project. Back in the classroom, a wide variety of applications embrace multimedia teaching and online communication and interaction. In this environment, then, a traditional network really is a bottleneck for education innovation.

Huawei AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 is specifically designed to meet the burgeoning data requirements of the intelligent era and is capable of handling the high-density and increasingly diversified teaching application requirements of a 21st century university. Digital talent cultivation is therefore no longer constrained by a poorly performing network, with low bandwidth and high latency, and students are able to enjoy a diversified and personalised learning experience.

Pushing the boundaries further with Wi-Fi 6 Testing

At the Wireless Global Congress — hosted by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) — Huawei and WBA announced that it would jointly launch an innovation pilot programme in colleges and universities to test Wi-Fi 6-based applications. Initially, a series of Wi-Fi 6 verification tests will be carried out at Mondragon University to explore the different use cases in higher education and lay a solid foundation for immersive education.

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