“I think the first reaction was that people were very surprised and happy that a rural area like us would be selected for this,” said Ksander. “We’re not an urban area. We’re not exactly the middle of nowhere, but nowhere is nearby here somewhere.”
Verizon plans to roll out 4G across its entire national network by the end of 2013.
“I think LTE is the enabling technology here and we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what kind of experience it could bring,” said Ksander.
Students will have to pay a monthly fee in order to access the network, although Ksander said the university hasn’t yet worked out the details of a payment plan.
“Books aren’t free. Teaching materials aren’t. You buy the book in the belief that it helps the experience in the class,” Ksander explained. “We need to be able to put this technology in that same class [to] demonstrate in a very real way that this is an experiential part of the class.”
Purdue is working to make the most out of the 4G network, combining it with 802.11 Wi-Fi.
“We’re deploying 6,000 access points on our campus. We were the larges deployment of 802.11 that Cisco sold,” said Ksander.
“I don’t want to just improve your experience,” Ksander said. “I want to improve experiences that make you successful at the university so if you learn more, you’re more absorbed, you’re more intrigued by your instructors, and that’s where I think this technology really can focus on making that mobile learning experience that we never quite got to with [just] laptops,” Ksander said.