The new partnership will establish a 5G test bed on the campus, aiming to tackle real-world problems like rural 5G deployment

A new agreement between AT&T and the University of Tennessee (UT) will see the US telecoms giant install a 5G network and testbed at the university’s Knoxville campus.
The private network will be used for research and development, focussing primarily on mmWave and multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications. The university says the deployment should greatly enhance their research capabilities and create opportunities to overcome real-world problems using technology. 
“We are excited to bring the expertise and talent of our faculty together with the capabilities of an industry leader like AT&T to solve real-world problems,” said UT Chancellor Donde Plowman. “Our relationship will not only provide a better network on our campus for students, faculty, and staff, but it will also create opportunities for innovation and collaboration that could change the lives of Tennesseans.”
One of the major focus points will be exploring 5G for rural applications, such as telehealth, education, and agriculture, with use cases reportedly planned to explore the real-time monitoring of soil and crop health.
For the UT students themselves, the partnership will present opportunities for more immersive learning experience, facilitating the use of augmented reality and virtual reality. AI and machine learning will also be used to process large amounts of data using the students’ biometric signatures, helping the university to better evaluate student performance and their engagement with course material.
“Customized and smart systems will be at our fingertips, connecting all devices surrounding us and instantly processing and optimising information touching everything we do as an individual, community, society, and more,” said Tickle College of Engineering Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Ozlem Kilic. “This collaboration with AT&T provides our research and education community at UT a platform to collaborate across disciplines to address societal needs and improve quality of life at all fronts.”
AT&T also notes that the US military will also use the facilities to explore the potential of mmWave radar.
“This solution would include a portable communications system that captures and shares images through a wall, allowing soldiers with connected devices to exchange this information with each other in near real-time to help protect and defend against potential threats,” explained the company in its press release. 
Deployment of the 5G network is scheduled for the end of year.
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