Architecture and Operational Model for Smart Campus Digital Infrastructure
Nations and cities are eagerly joining the global trend of transition to digitized society. Through digitalization, societies aim to streamline their key functions and to develop modern services to inhabitants. 5G wireless networks are being built globally with lots of expectations put on them. It is anticipated that at the first phase of 5G, the technology will benefit the most different verticals like factories, hospitals and campuses. Universities have likewise awoken to establish digitalization projects to respond to the disruption of education and to overcome in the growing global competition. The transition to digital campus will inevitably rely on campus ICT and IoT infrastructures. Additionally, the number of terminals, devices, sensors and robots will multiply. This article proposes a technical architecture for future Smart Campus consisting of 5G and IoT networks complemented by distributed computing and data analytics. Increasing complexity of digital environment calls for a specific actor to operate the Smart Campus infrastructure and also services, which has not been widely discussed. It is foreseen that the university IT Administration is probably not willing to adopt the responsibility of enlarging infra and growing number of devices. Similarly, mobile network operators are not seen appropriate to take this role being commonly profiled to offer merely connectivity. To tackle this question, a novel operational model for the Smart Campuses is presented based on the recently proposed micro operator concept. Moreover, a case study of the University of Oulu campus is presented, where smart technology in the form of 5G test network has been deployed.