UConn, AT&T Collaborate to Bring Private 5G Network to Stamford Campus

The partnership makes UConn Stamford one of the region’s first campuses to use the advanced capabilities

A picture of UConn Stamford at night, with cars driving by, leaving streaks of light behind them.

UConn Stamford is one of the first campuses in the region to have the new technology. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn and AT&T are collaborating to advance academic programs in data science, entrepreneurship, and innovation by bringing 5G+ millimeter wave and multi-access edge (MEC) technology to the Stamford campus, the company and University announced Monday, April 19.

The partnership makes UConn Stamford one of the region’s first campuses to use the advanced capabilities in its current academic and entrepreneurial activities, and to provide the technological foundation to establish and expand others.

With the support of CTNext and StamfordNext, AT&T’s collaboration with UConn Stamford will bring 5G capabilities to bolster the UConn Stamford Data Science Initiative, which includes the Stamford Start-up Studio, the UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP Digital) in Stamford, and the work of a soon-to-be hired team of data science research faculty.

“5G is a real game-changer. Access to ultra-fast wireless speeds is critical to our economic future for business and residents of our state,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says. “The work with AT&T is another step in setting the groundwork for future capabilities that will help unlock new economic development opportunities for Connecticut and UConn Stamford.”

AT&T and UConn expect the new resources at the Stamford campus to connect industry expertise with student and faculty innovation to create pathways to career opportunities and open avenues to new cutting-edge research. It also will make wireless high-speed 5G connectivity available throughout the UConn Stamford campus building, including to faculty, staff, and students in other programs there.

“Our collaboration with AT&T helps make the University and the state stronger, and enhances our focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and business partnership,” UConn President Thomas Katsouleas says. “We are honored to work with AT&T to explore the future of 5G and MEC-powered innovations.”

MEC computing is essentially a cellular network architecture that brings near real-time, high-bandwidth, ultra-low latency access to latency-dependent mobile applications. 5G and MEC will help connect students, faculty, and university partners via a private network. In other words, the technology will enable UConn Stamford to deliver advanced experiences and outcomes to students, faculty, and research communities.

“5G opens the door to new business models, products, services, and solutions. The widespread adoption of 5G technology can transform the business world across all sectors and bring exponential benefits,” says Anne Chow, AT&T Business chief operating officer.

“Leading universities like UConn Stamford are utilizing 5G to empower students and faculty to innovate and make learning come alive in the most extraordinary ways,” she says. “There’s no better place for 5G to be explored than on college campuses with our next generation of leaders.”

Build-out for the 5G Lab is expected finish by late summer this year. When complete, the Lab will accelerate academic research and programs already underway.

“With UConn-Stamford and AT&T 5G together, the possibilities are as exciting as they are limitless. In UConn’s hands, ultra-fast, reliable connectivity will open doors of opportunity for students, businesses, and the community, enabling innovation in countless areas,” says John Emra, AT&T New England Region president.

“We are grateful to the entire team at UConn Stamford for their collaboration,” he says, “and we applaud Gov. Lamont for taking his vision for a modern, connected, and cutting-edge Connecticut and making it a reality.”

The initiative complements UConn’s commitment to Stamford and the business community. When the lab opens, UConn anticipates working with regional companies to expand student experiences and opportunities.

The addition of AT&T’s 5G+ mmWave network will enhance UConn Stamford’s ability to serve the state, region, and University by strengthening and expanding Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem. Academic programs and student life will benefit, while the socio-economic impact of this development will tangibly benefit University partners and stakeholders.

AT&T and UConn expect the new 5G lab to support a broad array of technology tools and innovations that can help the university expand its work in entrepreneurship and data science. UConn use cases powered by AT&T 5G+ will include:

• Entrepreneurship & Innovation Co-op: The program will help budding entrepreneurs learn to build early-stage products and technology for the real estate and construction industries. The 5G infrastructure will help student entrepreneurs unleash innovation and transform business operations. The program also supports women and minority-owned business innovators by connecting and building a network of relationships within the University and across the state.

• Data Science Tech Incubator: 5G will allow TIP Digital startups to monitor and analyze data much faster and more efficiently. Use cases include real-time analysis of patient data so healthcare can be administered sooner, as well as improved monitoring of severe weather so utility companies can respond faster to power outages. Having access to 5G technology helps enable TIP Digital companies to innovate faster and attract top talent to the area.

• Data Science Faculty Fellows: The program will use 5G for analytics and data visualization research across engineering, liberal arts, fine arts, and business. These data science faculty fellows will produce cutting-edge research in collaboration with industry partners, with the potential for commercialization.

Terrence Cheng, director of the UConn Stamford campus, is joining Chow later Monday on LinkedIn Live for Champions for Change, a program in which he will discuss ways in which the campus plans to bolster innovation with the 5G service and lab.

In addition, Gov. Lamont will join Chow on Thursday to discuss how 5G will impact the future of education at the Collision Conference.

The new UConn initiative is part of AT&T’s 5G work with universities, in which UConn is the first and only participant in the Northeast. More information is also available on UConn’s websites about its Stamford Data Science Initiative, the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and its work in Tech Commercialization