4G and 5G LTE in Education

4G and 5G LTE are force multipliers for IoT, AI, and edge computing. They can create huge competitive advantages and increase the efficacy of other new technologies — if exploited and applied effectively. In this post, we discuss 4G and 5G LTE in education and how these technologies may be adopted in the future.

3G enabled fast development and innovation in the smartphone and mobile device markets. Growing data needs prompted the establishment of a 4G high-speed mobile broadband network that enables consumers to experience gaming, video, and social networking applications anywhere, anytime. 4G LTE was introduced in 2010, and by 2012, it had about 90% coverage in the US.

5G promises low latency gigabit speeds that could spark a new wave of innovation, with early adopters reaping the most benefits.

It will take years, but 4G and 5G LTE are already establishing the groundwork needed to run the hyperconnected web of people, devices, and machines. 5G promises faster speeds, more data capacity, device density, precision, and reduced latency than conventional networks, making it an appealing alternative for high-bandwidth, time-sensitive applications.

Although education has always trailed behind other industries in adopting new technologies, we may be witnessing a 5G revolution in education.

5G in Education

As next-generation systems with high-performance wireless capabilities become reality, businesses and sectors, including those in education, should consider what needs to be done and where value might be captured. Mobile apps and cloud applications grew exponentially with 3G, offering blue oceans of possibility for all. 5G may do the same, and it is up to schools and districts to decide how 4G and 5G should be used. Because improving network infrastructure and product development takes years, taking action now is critical.

Technology can help teachers learn more about difficult subjects, save time on tedious tasks, and tailor lessons to specific students’ needs. However, poor video buffering, unresponsive programmes, and other IT and tech issues reduce the value of technologies employed for those benefits, making the case for additional tech in the classroom challenging. 4G and 5G IoT applications can assist teachers to overcome these obstacles, allowing them to focus on teaching.

Currently, one 4G cell tower can handle 2,000 devices with negligible delays. Unparalleled 5G tower support for over 1 million connected devices per sq km.

In contrast to 4G, 5G employs higher frequency bands than 4G. Contrast the 700 MHz-2500 MHz band used by 4G with Verizon’s 5G ultra-wideband. Also, 5G signals travel less than 4G signals, necessitating a larger density of tiny cells. It can power up to 100 times more devices than the current 4G LTE network. Its data speeds might be 10 times quicker than 4G, allowing educators to do more in and out of the classroom.

Here are some creative ideas for schools and teachers.


High bandwidth and low latency are required to effectively use HD video with mixed reality. While 4G couldn’t handle this load for AR and VR, 5G can. Students will be able to fully immerse themselves in learning apps, from HD tours of archaeological sites to solar system study.


Digital interaction with pupils is possible with minimum or no bandwidth and signal loss difficulties using interconnected smart devices.


From feature-length documentaries to educational YouTube videos, HD video on 5G takes seconds to download instead of minutes or hours on 4G.


Teachers often need to help special needs students. However, the AI-powered programmes developed to help these youngsters are not as responsive as the children they are meant to support. With 5G, these robots and AI applications can support teachers by instantly responding to student requirements.


This means students may access data and applications from anywhere in the world – at home, on the bus, in classrooms or in campus labs. Regardless of distance or location, 5G can provide all students with equal access to information and applications.


5G can bring Internet access to uncovered regions of your school or campus. Users can enjoy seamless handoffs between indoor WiFi and 5G outside school or university buildings. 5G can also be used on the school bus.


Sometimes you need to segregate your traffic and run specific apps on one network while other apps or users are on another. A price, security, or performance issue. You may want to offer WiFi for gaming, entertainment, and video streaming while using 5G for academic traffic such as lecture recordings and multi-user class discussions.


A temporary solution can be used to enhance bandwidth until a long-term solution can be implemented or the necessary procedures for a network upgrade are completed, such as raising funding or obtaining approvals.

The Way Ahead

When can we expect to see some of these ideas in schools and colleges?

Investments in carrier infrastructure are necessary for the introduction of disruptive 5G high-speed wireless services. But, historically, a dramatic change occurs a few years after infrastructure readiness, with adoption occurring much later.

This technique comprises three main steps. To boost network capacity and dependability, new network infrastructure is deployed. During this stage, prospects for innovation and excitement are identified. Then come practical solutions to examine use cases, and initiatives and experiments. This is when partnerships and ecosystems are formed. Finally, the adoption and scaling stage accelerates consumer adoption and service deployment across sectors and verticals.

As new infrastructure is constructed and hype rises around 5G, we are currently in the first stage. To make the most of new wireless technologies, schools and districts must invest in knowing how and where to deploy them. Training and support programmes to bring stakeholders on board with future plans. Proving the efficacy of 4G and 5G-powered initiatives utilising data from pilot programmes.

New wireless technologies like 4G and 5G LTE will undoubtedly benefit education, but when the major change will occur is unknown. Teachers and school decision-makers must proactively coordinate to build traction and accelerate deployment so that students, teachers, and district-level leaders are ready to hit the ground running once relevant 4G and 5G-powered opportunities to improve student outcomes are identified.

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