Verizon launches 5G Innovation Hub at ASU to foster digital equity, inclusion

Verizon’s 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) network, which it calls its 5G Ultra Wideband network, is now being used by Arizona State University (ASU) at a 5G Innovation Hub located at the university’s Learning Futures Collaboratory, Studios and Emporium. Students, faculty, entrepreneurs and corporate partners will use this space to test and create “5G-powered educational experiences that are more inclusive, equitable and accessible.”

Digital equity and inclusion are at the heart of the partnership and the first program to come out of the ASU Innovation Hub will be “The Digital Equity Jam.” Teams will use Verizon’s 5G mmWave and mobile edge compute capabilities to develop use cases that will help bridge the digital divide, focusing on critical areas such as health, climate, poverty, human rights and education The winning team will receive project seed funding, access to intensive summer entrepreneurship training in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and VentureWell.

Sponsored by Verizon, AWS and Inseego, this program is scheduled for early February 2022.

Arizona is an excellent location for such an initiative, because as many as one million residents, including more than 200,000 students, do not have regular access to the internet.

Verizon ASU 5G
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) ASU student Olivia H. is part of the Immersive Creation Studio out of the Learning Futures Collaboratory in the Creativity Commons, powered by Verizon 5G. The students are using Verizon 5G to create immersive experiences in VR and AR. (Photo credit: Mike Sanchez. Photo is owned by ASU.)

“Working with ASU, we have an extraordinary opportunity to research and develop new 5G-enabled experiences that can improve remote learning and help bridge the digital divide,” said Tami Erwin, Verizon Business CEO. “Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband’s super-fast speeds, high bandwidth and low latency can enhance applications ranging from immersive education to connected communities. By collaborating with ASU’s researchers, we hope to accelerate the innovation process and develop technology that will harness the full potential of 5G and edge compute.”

Other plans ASU has for the , such as a Dreamscape pod where students can experience a biology class in virtual reality (VR) or a career arcade using VR, where students can experience a day in the life of certain careers. 5G applications are also being tested for athlete performance analytics applications and virtual fighter pilot training.

Verizon operates five 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London, and is collaborating with several customers, such as Emory Healthcare, to establish 5G Innovation Hubs on-premises.

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