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Texas A&M University deploys IP Wave optical solutions for private 5G network

Leading US applied research facility university deploys optical technology in private 5G network to support advanced experimentation, technology development, testing and evaluation across a range of disciplines

The network requirements for scientific centres of education are critical, and for Texas A&M – which conducts testing in areas such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, advanced manufacturing, smart grids, software-defined networking and next-generation wireless networks – these requirements are particularly robust. To make sure researchers stay connected, the university has implemented NPT IP Routing from Ribbon Communications for wireless backhaul on its private 5G research network.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) opened its doors in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher learning. Located in the heart of the Houston-Dallas-Austin triangle, and within a two-hour drive of 26 million of the state’s 28 million residents, Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station is home to more than 69,000 students. Another 5,200 are at the branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar, and at the School of Law, Higher Education Centre at McAllen, and Health Science Centre locations across Texas.

In all, through a state-wide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science centre, eight state agencies and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M system educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programmes each year.

Today, it regards itself a research-intensive flagship university dedicated to sending leaders out into the world prepared to take on the challenges of tomorrow. And to do this, it needs world-class networking.

“As one of the world’s most advanced research centres, we require a state-of-the-art network to conduct testing in areas such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, advanced manufacturing, smart grids, software-defined networking, next-generation wireless networks, and more,” said Michael Fox, interim executive director, ITEC, at TAMU. “Working with Ribbon ensures that we benefit from the highest guaranteed performance for these mission-critical communications.”

Designed specifically for the TAMU research community, the network connects the labs at the facility’s Internet2 Technology Evaluation Centre (ITEC) with engineering and computer science labs on TAMU’s main campus, the public safety training area at Disaster City, and the labs and testbeds at the RELLIS Campus.

Since 2004, ITEC has focused on evaluating emerging technologies and their real-world applications for critical communications, infrastructure and data interconnectedness. As an applied research centre, ITEC has been part of the development of Next Generation 911 (NG 911), public safety broadband technologies, advanced regional networks, and industry collaboration events and exercises aimed at proving next-generation interoperable communications.

Texas A&M ITEC also convenes government, industry, practitioners and academia, creating collaborative teams to identify problems, define solutions and put technologies in the hands of first responders and other front-line professionals for test and evaluation. The aim of every effort is to advance the practical use of communications technologies to benefit communities, public safety and national security.

The network uses Ribbon’s NPT 1800 multi-service aggregation router and NPT 2100 access edge and pre-aggregation router, part of Ribbon’s comprehensive IP Wave portfolio, for increased performance and availability. Architected to help providers build and operate multi-layer data and optical networks, IP Wave solutions fuse optimised hardware and automation software with an open architecture, and deliver the agility required to rapidly create and implement innovative new services.

“TAMU is a world-class university with unparalleled research capabilities, and we’re proud to support them with solutions that enable continued innovation across an extensive range of disciplines,” said Branon Kane, North American enterprise sales lead, at Ribbon. “Our…offers are designed to provide higher education institutions with the capacity, security and agility they require in today’s connected learning environment. We look forward to a fruitful relationship.”

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