Optus is partnering with Curtin University to launch an on campus 5G lab for research, teaching and collaboration on the next wave of cellular mobile technology, expanding the telco and university’s ongoing partnership on emerging technology.

Using its 5G network, Optus says the lab will act as a hub for students, researchers and industry to collaborate on applications for the low latency, high speed technology, which the telco has been rolling out across select areas since early last year.

The university also sees the lab as a way of better arming its students with digital skills for the future. Optus and Curtain currently operate an “Innovation Alliance” where research Fellows work alongside Optus technology experts.

“Curtin’s new smart campus will allow students to learn new digital skills and experience the power of 5G through practical, hands-on applied research while collaborating with industry,” said Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry. “We will also be able to better integrate emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence into our teaching and learning programs.

“Importantly the technology will enable Curtin to deliver a high quality experience to overcome the tyranny of distance, particularly in Western Australia, for remote education, healthcare and other areas.”

Optus Business vice president of product innovation, Deon Liebenberg, said the partnership could lead to significant global research as 5G becomes critical for remote learning and working.

“5G is a critical component for businesses embracing the fourth industrial revolution and our alliance with Curtin University will create a hyper-connected campus of the future and allow industry-leading research that has potential world-changing impacts,” said Liebenberg.

“The technology’s low latency and fast speeds have the capability to transform remote learning and support academic applications of virtual and augmented reality. From virtual lessons and class trips, to advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and medical training – the potential of 5G in education is enormous and we’re excited to explore its future alongside Curtin.”

Liebenberg said Optus now has more than 740 5G sites in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide, including 72 in the greater Perth area.

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