Travel wireless on the Traxx

The Lion Traxx shuttle service that operates on campus will soon have Internet connections.  Using the same fourth generation (4G) technology that provides service to cellphones and other wireless devices, the Lion Traxx busses will have service along most of its routes.

“Most of the path that the shuttles take around campus will yield a good connection to the 4G WiMax service with speeds approaching that of a lower speed home DSL connection,” said Dr. Mike Asoodeh, chief information officer. “However, 4G WiMax access around the Village and Oaks apartments on North Campus is spotty, and students may experience a connection drop in these locations.  Connections to SLUWiMax in static locations on campus, such as Quiznos and Starbucks, should be more reliable.”

The connection is provided through an agreement with Clearwire Spectrum Holdings III (Clear).  Clear is required to build, operate and maintain these channels and has offered any help in order to meet certain standards.

“This is also a source of revenue for Southeastern and $750 of monthly service credit, which we will use to purchase wireless access,” said Asoodeh. “This will eventually provide Southeastern and the City with another form of fixed and mobile Internet access known as WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access).”

When logging on, students will need no prior knowledge of the system, but only recognize that the available connection will read SLUWiMax.

“When on the shuttles or near other WiMax hotspots around campus the students will see these new wireless devices show up as SLUWiMax on their mobile device,” said Gary Prescott, director for shuttle services. “They can connect to SLUWiMax just like they would sluwireless or any other wireless network, and no credentials or log-in information is required to connect.”

This 4G technology named WiMax is used by many cellular companies, most notably Sprint.  With its introduction to Southeastern, Asoodeh believes that it can spread out further into the community

“We definitely have plans for using these devices in other locations on campus such as the baseball stadium, the west side of Garrett Hall outdoors, and the Columbia Theatre conference room,” said Asoodeh. “Site selection is based on a number of factors including 4G signal, wiring and power logistics, and estimated number of users”

Asoodeh also acknowledged the hard work by Raymond DeJean, systems engineer coordinator, and Russell Barger, systems administrator.  For more information, contact the Office of Technology at 985-549-2314 or Shuttle Services at 985-549-2877 (BUSS).