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Notre Dame, South Bend look to collaborate on "5G Testbed" tech opportunity

We’ve all seen cell phone towers. At about 200 feet tall, they let us upload things and talk to people from a distance. Now, Notre Dame and the city of South Bend are collaborating to help you do this with cutting-edge technology.

Studies show people ages 18 to 33 use their cell phones about 85 times every day. That’s about five hours!

The city of South Bend and researchers at Notre Dame recognize the importance of cell phone usage, so they're teaming up for an opportunity to make it even better.

“We think that we can be competitive and bring the "testbed" here, and what that means to the everyday person is that some really exciting things are going to be happening in the wireless space around them,” said J. Nicholas Laneman, Co-Director of the Wireless Institute and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

They’re seeking grants from the National Science Foundation to make South Bend one of four “5G Testbed” cities in the U.S.

“So this is a prototype base station, or access point, for Wi-Fi. The technology that we’re developing in collaboration with our industry partners allows Wi-Fi devices to talk to the access point simultaneously,” said Laneman.

This just means their technology would make it so you won't have to try again and again uploading posts or sending messages in crowded areas like football games or concerts.

“This testbed will put both Notre Dame and South Bend on the map,” said Laneman.

Doctor Laneman also says it’s a chance to show what both parties can bring to the table.

“Companies and also researchers can take their technologies out of the lab and test it at city scale,” said Laneman.

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