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    Wi-Fi 6 Boosts Campus Innovation for UNAN-León in Nicaragua

Traditional Education Encounters Transformation Challenges in the Digital Era

As innovative teaching methods — from online live broadcasts to distance education — have become widespread, educational models are being fundamentally transformed, shifting online. Such transformation is now actively enabling students, letting them learn anytime, anywhere, and allowing education resources to be shared, effectively promoting educational equity.

With the rapid increase in the number of campus network users and diversified network requirements, both the construction and operations of traditional campus networks now face a series of stiff challenges. To embrace these changes and adapt, smart campus construction has clearly emerged as the best option. A smart campus optimizes network performance and improves the user experience, while supporting unified and simplified management, to greatly improve network Operations and Maintenance (O&M) efficiency.

Founded in 1812, the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua at León (UNAN-León) is the oldest university in Nicaragua. With 13 active branch campuses, it enrolls nearly 10,000 new students every single year. And, as a leading university in Nicaragua, UNAN-León's mission has always been to cultivate top talents for the country.

In recent years, UNAN-León has been actively promoting educational innovation and digitalization, shifting as much as possible online, from enrollment and registration to learning itself. Through ongoing digital transformation, the university provides teachers and students with a high-quality and convenient learning and practice environment, cultivates talent that is actively adaptive to the new information era, and contributes to national scientific and technological innovation as a result.

An Agile Campus Seamlessly Integrates History and Technology

The main campus of UNAN-León was built in the 19th century, with scenic, historic teaching buildings spread across the area. However, as its educational model has evolved, more and more learning and discussion activities have been shifted away from these buildings. Indeed, outdated network devices on campus were proving no longer able to meet the scientific research requirements of teachers and students. Many important venues, such as auditoriums and conference rooms, often encountered Internet access failures or poor Wi-Fi signals. Occasionally, teachers and students even had to resort to using their own wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) cards to access the online course system or query materials on the Internet.

To improve teaching efficiency through Information Technology (IT), UNAN-León chose Huawei from a selection of partners, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deploy Huawei's end-to-end campus network solution. Huawei has the most Wi-Fi 6 commercial cases deployed in the industry, alongside rich experience in providing campus solutions. Based on detailed site surveys, expert network planning, and quick network deployment, Huawei successfully built an agile campus network for UNAN-León, providing a range of key features.

A high-quality user experience: Huawei's cutting-edge AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 Access Points (APs) support high bandwidth and high concurrency. Expert network planning design allows for the minimum number of APs as possible to be deployed — saving costs — yet still implement ubiquitous campus coverage and ensure smooth Internet access for students, even in densely populated scenarios such as auditoriums and libraries. Tests show that the university's new campus network can fully meet the high-performance demands of various services such as online teaching and future-oriented immersive virtual teaching. This has been further demonstrated through feedback from teachers and students, noting the increased speed of the network.

Stable and reliable connections: Huawei's flagship campus switch, CloudEngine S12700E-4 — featuring ultra-high performance and ultra-large capacity — is deployed to manage devices, users, and policies on the network in a coordinated and unified way. It is ideal for constructing a high-quality campus in the Wi-Fi 6 era, with capabilities to support the network evolution and service development needs of UNAN-León for the next five to ten years. The switch has no problems coping with the data traffic changes and network requirements of an increasing number of applications being deployed on the cloud.

An easy-to-deploy and easy-to-maintain network: A large number of devices are deployed in 13 branch campuses of UNAN-León, for which manual management and O&M may be difficult. To address this, Huawei's solution uses iMaster NCE-Campus to achieve automatic end-to-end network deployment and fast service adjustment. With the new campus network in the university featuring Software-Defined Networking (SDN) architecture, the management, monitoring, and O&M of the entire network is both unified and visualized, helping IT personnel quickly locate and rectify faults to greatly improve O&M efficiency.

Guiding Talent in the Country

Education informatization has become one of the key education policies adopted by UNAN-León. As a leader of higher education in Nicaragua, the university shoulders a responsibility to cultivate talent, while balancing educational equity through informatization. UNAN-León strives to lead the nation's education in terms of intelligence, automation, and digitalization and, to cope with digital transformation challenges, it has established a comprehensive strategic partnership with Huawei. In the future, the university will carry out uniform planning in order to upgrade its data center and network security devices on campus to build an informatization-powered smart university.