Skip navigation

5G Can Redefine Education & Remote Learning In India

In a conversation with BW Education, Nitin Bansal, Head - Ericsson India and Head - Network Solutions, Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, discusses how 5G is making education more accessible and faster.
How 5G Can Redefine Education & Remote Learning In India

What is the paradigm shift that 5G will bring to the education ecosystem in India? 

5G will enable easier and faster access to education regardless of location by providing reliable and fast internet connection thereby creating new opportunities for participation and learning. As education becomes more hybrid and digitally rich – good reliable broadband access is critical for both students as well as teachers to ensure effective teaching.  

In fact, 5G with its ultra-low latency, greater bandwidth, and faster speeds has the potential to revolutionise the education ecosystem in India by enabling more diverse, intense, and accessible learning experiences for students.  

5G will also support the New Education Policy's emphasis on experiential learning through Robotics, STEM Education, AI, IoT, 3D printing, Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship and Coding.  

How will it make education more immersive, engaging and entertaining? 

The implementation of interactive digital content such as gamification, simulations, and interactive videos with 5G technology can enhance students' understanding of subjects by transforming theoretical concepts into vivid experiences. 5G will also facilitate personalised learning experiences, by utilising data analytics and AI, making education more engaging and customised to meet each student's specific needs and preferences too. 

For example, incorporating virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) in lessons can create an immersive learning environment that can captivate students in innovative and stimulating ways. Imagine taking a tour of the solar system through virtual reality where students can explore the planets, moons, and other celestial bodies in stunning detail and with a sense of presence that was previously impossible. This is the kind of hands-on learning which is much more engaging and impactful.  

How 5G will enable remote learning? 

5G brings with itself high-speed, low-latency connectivity that enables immersive learning experiences. With 5G networks, students and teachers can connect from anywhere with minimal delay and disruptions, allowing real-time collaboration and feedback. Additionally, 5G-powered applications such as VR and AR can offer interactive and engaging learning experiences that are not possible with traditional online learning tools. 5G can also support high-quality video streaming and conferencing, making it easier for remote students and teachers to participate in live classes and discussions. 5G can bridge the gap between physical and remote classrooms and create new opportunities for students to learn from anywhere, at any time. 

How 5G technology will help students gain an edge in STEM subjects? 

The integration of VR and AR in STEM education can transform the way students learn and comprehend concepts in these subjects. These technologies can offer a safe and immersive learning experience for medical students, where they can visualise virtual surgeries and anatomical parts in real time. Through animated body parts, students can gain a three-dimensional understanding of human anatomy and learn about the impact of various medical conditions on the body. 

Moreover, VR and AR can offer a phygital (physical and digital) learning curriculum for students studying robotics and automation. With lifelike experiences, students can better comprehend technological advancements in robotics and understand the role of 5G in automation across industries like manufacturing, transportation, hospitals, and ports. This prepares them for the future and enhances their engagement with the subject. 

Overall, integrating VR and AR in STEM education has enormous potential to transform how students learn and engage with these subjects, offering a more interactive and innovative learning experience. 

How will it be possible to power hybrid learning technology in rural areas in India?  

 Connecting schools with internet is critical for making schooling more effective. It is also important from a socio-economic standpoint. According to UNICEF, school children worldwide have lost approximately 1.8 trillion hours of in-person learning due to lockdowns and imposed isolations caused by the pandemic. However, connectivity has helped them continue their education and made hybrid learning possible by enabling reliable internet at schools.  

Given the inadequacy of the fixed broadband infrastructure in India, 5G is crucial for ensuring reliable broadband access to schools. Additionally, Fixed wireless access (FWA) enabled by 5G can play an important and effective role in connecting schools in remote parts of the country as well as in underserved communities in urban areas. Thus, 5G can power hybrid learning in rural areas and bridge the digital divide in true sense.  

Elaborate on some 5G for education use cases in India and worldwide. 

In India, 5G technology is still in its early stages, and we expect new use cases to emerge. However, globally, several use cases have already been executed in collaboration with service providers. For example, Ericsson partnered with NOS, a leading communications and entertainment group in Portugal, to develop technological projects in a school in Matosinhos. The 12th-grade Science and Technology students used a virtual reality solution over 5G to visit a science museum located over 300km away in Lisbon. The students remotely controlled a robot equipped with a 360º camera and interacted with the museum exhibits in an immersive and realistic way. 

Ericsson also partnered with Free Senegal to establish a proof-of-concept project that provides digital education resources to schools in Senegal. The project connected several schools with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology and provided laptops, learning content, and teacher training to develop the ecosystem. 

In addition, Ericsson and DNB conducted a landmark 5G technology showcase in Sarawak, Malaysia. The technology allowed for a seamless interaction between a lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Kuala Lumpur, and a group of students located 1,400km away at Curtin University, Miri, using AR/VR headsets. The lecturer and students interacted with each other as if in the same physical environment, with no noticeable delay. 

These global use cases have significant relevance for India and can inspire innovative applications of 5G technology in education and other fields. 

Article source: