Building a Solid Foundation for
Smart Campuses With Huawei's
The education industry is burgeoning under digitalization. Students and faculties alike expect a smooth teaching and learning process, a swift administration process, and convenience in their day to day life. As the world advances at a galloping pace, more and more schools have begun working on building 'smart campuses'.
In the global education field, Huawei focuses on the ICT foundation for intelligence and provides advanced education solutions for teaching, scientific research, life services, and administrative logistics based on smart campus product portfolios. These solutions help customers build smart campuses and promote the long-term, sustainable development of education.
In key scenarios, Huawei combines partner capabilities with product portfolios, including the "converged campus network", "intelligent video perception", "intelligent office conference", "campus digital platform", and the "IoT edge", to help schools build multi-scenario applications like smart classrooms, practical teaching, smart office, smart R&D, video perception, asset management, and smart services.
Built upon a solid ICT foundation, the future smart campus will be seamlessly covered by high-quality networks to ensure everything is connected. It will link the teaching, scientific research, administrative, day-to-day, and communication functions of the school, supporting all-scenario link management.
In the infancy of their smart campus construction, most universities do not have a clear blueprint, roadmap or solution; rather, they have abstract ideas about what they would value if such a campus existed. Some colleges and universities attach great importance to teaching and scientific research, others focus on smart classrooms and distance learning. Still others put an emphasis on having state-of-the-art logistics services. Different universities have different visions for their own smart campus.
Huawei pins down exactly what a university wants and needs to do via professional site surveys. This allows Huawei to provide targeted top-level planning based on the characteristics, problems, and requirements of the institution. Huawei can leverage the comprehensive and flexible advantages of its product portfolios to design and deploy solutions in a modular way. It helps universities draw blueprints, establish the architecture, strengthen the foundation, build applications, and enable intelligence.
• Simplified office networks deliver smooth network experiences
Online, video-based teaching requires a definition of 1080p or higher resolution. Online learning experience requires a latency of less than 50 ms in many scenarios. Constant Internet disconnections lead to poor network experience and inevitably earns complaints from teachers and students alike.
In academic settings, countless professors and pupils communicate with each other via the wireless network. This requires that each AP should connect to at least 50 terminals with a minimum of 4 Mbit/s bandwidth for video playback.
In dormitories, a typical dorm accommodates six students. Each student has two or three terminal devices, each of which requires at least 2 Mbit/s bandwidth to ensure online learning with no frame freezing. In one Hong Kong university, a large number of posts on the bulletin board system (BBS) involved complaints about poor online learning experiences.
Interactive learning becomes increasingly popular, while group teaching places high requirements on wireless networks. There is evidence showing when five smart screens are connected to the wireless network in the classroom at the same time, the pictures on the screens are not synchronized due to network freezing, which greatly compromises the teaching experience.
Huawei uses the simplified office network product portfolio to adapt to smart campus scenarios. The solution uses the IP+POL architecture, AirEngine series Wi-Fi 6, CloudEngine S series switches, OLT+ONU networking, and eSight/iMaster NCE, delivering 200 Mbit/s @ Anywhere all-wireless office network experiences and ensuring zero network freezing for 80-100 channels.
In order to achieve green, low carbon development, which has a direct impact on the annual development assessment and the operational costs of a university, colleges are taking all possible measures to reduce the energy consumption of network devices, which amasses to millions of dollars every year. With the simplified office network product portfolio, the network architecture is reduced from three to two layers. The innovative ultra-remote power supply mode of PoE requires only the deployment of weak-current equipment rooms at the core layer, eliminating the need for a large amount of cabling and zero-line redeployment during network upgrades. Beyond this, the remote unit (RU) solution can better adapt to scattered buildings in a campus, which outperforms the traditional serial networking mode and is greener as well as energy-saving. According to estimation, the number of network management nodes in the campus can be slashed by 80%, and the energy consumption can be reduced 30%. 25,000 kWh of electricity can be saved for a single building in a year. This means a total saving of 750,000 kWh of electricity for a typical university campus with 30 buildings.
• Intelligent office meetings address the challenge of interactive learning
Currently, most colleges and universities have few smart classrooms that support interactive learning and online group discussion. As the intelligent era emerges, colleges and universities are hoping to have more smart classrooms for interactive learning and effective teaching.
From the teacher's point of view, traditional curriculum resources are limited, leading to difficult lesson preparation and underwhelming lecturing. From the student's point of view, the learning process is boring due to a low level of interaction between teachers and classmates. Watching LCD screens for a long time is also detrimental to the eyes. For class administrators, the current digitalization level of administration management is low, course quality and depth of learning evaluation is difficult, and manual class inspection costs are high. Beyond this, college administrators also have to deal with low levels of management intelligence, complex interfaces, and laborious device information collection. In online and offline hybrid learning, the switchover between teachers, the classroom, and online students is constant and complex. If the network is not smooth enough, the learning experience will be greatly compromised.
Based on its product portfolio solution, Huawei uses the smart tablet IdeaHub to empower classroom learning. Huawei has developed an innovative online and offline hybrid learning mode based on superior wireless networks, mainstream video services and teaching management systems from partners. This mode is capable of delivering a diversified, more interactive and flexible learning experience.
After the digital reconstruction of traditional classrooms, blackboards will be replaced with smartboards that can be projected to big screens with high definition. The intelligent speaker tracking function of IdeaHub ensures that the online picture is always focused on the speaker during distance teaching, and is quickly switched to the panoramic view after a lecture is over.
• Intelligent video perception safeguards smart campuses
In campus perimeters, public areas, key entrances and exits, and indoor areas, traditional campus video awareness systems encounter issues including limited computing power, low algorithm accuracy, fixed software, and single functions. These systems cannot meet requirements for campus video linkage management.
Currently, most campus management work is still manual, and the false positive rate of video alarms is as high as 60%. Key labs and information security areas are frequently trespassed in, leading to all sorts of incidents. In areas with a high density of people, traffic congestion and parking is a constant problem.
Based on mature and advanced video, AI, and network technologies, Huawei has developed a product portfolio solution focused on video perception in campus scenarios. The solution consists of software-defined HWT cameras (X, M, C, and D series), HWT IVS1800/2800/3800 series video management platforms, CloudEngine S series switches, IP+POL networks, and eSight/iMaster NCEs. It implements functions such as perimeter management, smart access, intelligent inspection, smart parking, asset management, firefighting linkage, and incident handling in campus management. The solution ensures accurate on-site data, timely problem detection, and efficient incident response to reduce risks significantly.
The Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) is the largest comprehensive research university in Macau, ranking 250–300th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022. Huawei and MUST jointly worked out a blueprint for smart campus construction by analyzing the current situation and process of campus management at the university. The blueprint has been implemented in several phases.
Based on actual campus scenarios, we started to build the smart campus service platform of MUST through top-level design, ensuring the platform can flexibly meet various service requirements. Based on the WeMust platform, MUST can accumulate technical capabilities across multiple fields to improve the smart campus management system. MUST had many smart campus construction scenarios. The overall planning involved fully connected ultra-broadband networks, smart classrooms and online interactive education, campus video management capability improvement, campus energy consumption management and optimization, campus asset management, an ICT training platform, a campus-level AI computing center, and a smart campus operation center. The project covered numerous products and technologies, making integration arduous. With Huawei's product portfolio, including a campus video awareness system, simplified office networks, a smart office conference system, and a campus digital platform, the complex solution is modularized and prefabricated, meeting the overall planning and phased implementation requirements of the university.
With the continuation of smart campus construction, digitalization is supporting and leading MUST's development, enabling and reconstructing its infrastructure and information systems and helping it grow into a world-renowned university. Smart campus construction not only improved teaching and scientific research management capabilities, but also standardized and optimized university management and service, supporting the university's future development.
Through scenario-based solution design, Huawei's rich product resources are flexibly combined to support various industry application scenarios. In the smart campus field, Huawei's flexible scenario design and comprehensive set of products can meet any digital and intelligent construction requirements. Looking to the future, Huawei will continue to lay a solid foundation for the digital transformation of schools and colleges.