The USA is failing our schools. As a result, our students are behind in all aspects of learning. In a study including 35 developed nations, the US placed 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. I am writing this as NBC is broadcasting their 2011 Education Nation conference this week. Could 4G broadband be the answer to our current educational woes?
Here’s a checklist for Clearwire as it rolls out its WiMAX service branded as “Clear”:
- Build on its 16-market start? Check – Clear plans to have a total of 83 markets enabled in the next 14-16 months.
- Sign up customers? Check – with a guerilla strategy of primarily using field service reps, Clear is building its end customer base.
- Establish itself as a carrier for vertical markets? Well, that’s not as far along, but that plan is being developed, too, by people like Bill Hadala.
Hadala is in business development for Clearwire, currently focused on the Las Vegas market. He’s out to make people realize that Clear’s WiMAX service has more capabilities than one might expect. “It’s a revolution,” said Hadala. “A huge revolution.
“People hear ‘4G’ and think it’s along the same line as 3G,” continued Hadala. “From a branding perspective, it’s important to show that WiMAX was built for data.”
High-speed data is the core of Clear’s business-to-business offering. Clearwire is targeting a number of vertical markets: health, financial and banking, legal, real estate, hospitality and gaming, business services, retail and wholesale, and transportation. Hadala says Smart Grid and utility needs are also a consideration.
But Hadala’s primary focus is on education. “The natural lead is education,” said Hadala. “WiMAX has the ability to revolutionize the ways that students learn.”
For example, “Students can untether from the classroom,” said Hadala. A possible application is creating reports during field trips on handheld WiMAX-enabled devices.
Hadala wants to build a coalition to bring such ideas to reality. He envisions Clear being the focal point of a partnership between schools and corporations that could provide schools with 4G equipment. The coalition would include entrepreneurs and forward-thinking companies from around the country that can foresee and develop new education applications based on the use of high-speed data.
“At the end of the day, we’re the carrier, promoting connectivity,” said Hadala. “We’re open to working with others to provide value-added services to customers, whether it’s in education or in other areas such as security, web hosting or phone services.” Hadala goes on to say that “Clear is focused on the good old U.S.A,” and that enhancing national education dovetails with Clearwire’s goal to service the United States wireless broadband data market.
Clearwire is onto something. The essence of promoting any new technology is making it relevant to users. Much as the … Read the rest
According to a research report by Companies and Markets, titled WiMAX–The Educational Broadband Services Solution, WiMAX is destined to be the most effective wireless broadband technology for educational services enabling school districts to keep their 2.5 GHz licenses.
The Obama administration will spend billions of dollars installing or upgrading existing wireless broadband services for public schools. However, by May 1, 2011, schools districts that do not build out networks will have to forfeit their Educational Broadband Services (EBS) licenses in accordance with FCC regulations. School districts that hold the Educational Broadband Services license are not protected by subletting to large commercial broadband operators.
The research report discusses why WiMAX is the best technology for this situation. It gives a comprehensive explanation of the education technology market, outlines the “3 A’s: Access, Applications, and Affordability” of WiMAX in education, and delivers its “5% Solution”–one-to-one computing and WiMAX for five percent of a school district’s annual per-student allocation.
The name “Educational Broadband Service” was coined by the FCC in 2005, a switch from Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), to imply the broader use of the spectrum that became available for schools. The EBS license is a specific band of microwave frequencies that is licensed to educational institutions or non-profit educational organizations; the frequency band is designed to accomodate a variety of fixed, portable, and mobile services relating to education.
However, a commercial telecommunications company may want to build and maintain an educational institution’s licensed spectrum as part of their larger wireless broadband system. In such a case, a school could obtain some new broadband capabilities as well as revenue.… Read the rest