What are Cellular Networks?


The boundaries between cellular networks and the Internet are blurring. Increasingly, and more so in the developing world, the "on ramp" to the Internet is a mobile device accessing the Internet via a cellular network that extends significantly beyond even the electric grid. The 3G cellular networks support broadband Internet, and with self-contained power, can be deployed in even the most remote locations. As the network expands, mobiles are increasingly the access point not only for common tools and communications, but also for information of all kinds, training materials, and more. Because they are always connected, many people are beginning to look to mobile computing platforms as their device of choice. For this group, mobile computing devices are more affordable, more accessible, and easier to use than desktop computers, and provide more than enough functionality to serve as their primary computing device. A major benefit for adoption in tertiary education is that institutions do not need to build, pay for, or support cellular networks; the infrastructures already surround them.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • - sheila.carey sheila.carey Aug 30, 2011 I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the right place, but access to wifi in museums is appreciated by visitors who may be wanting to either download your app (if they didn't get it ahead of time), or using your app if it requires access to a network for any of the content. Visitors may be reluctant to use their own data plan while in the museum, especially if they require data roaming.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • - scott.sayre scott.sayre Aug 31, 2011Many museums currently have difficulty implementing cellular-based technologies internally due to the physical restrictions of their buildings. While those museums with good reception can utilize these technologies. Those with poor reception are more likely to move toward WiFi rather than investing in cellular repeaters. It will be interesting to see if future cellular technologies are capable of eventually penetrating the stone and steel fortresses we tend to build for museums.
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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