The University of Hong Kong

Education

In order to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries are restricting travel and social contact. In many places, school lectures and business meetings have moved to the cloud. The University of Hong Kong was one such case.

The Hong Kong SAR government announced in early February that school campuses would be closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Lecturers from The University of Hong Kong had to begin providing lectures from home via web video conferences. However, these bandwidth-hungry applications were too much for the lecturers’ residential ADSL and broadband connections, resulting in inconsistent performances. Frequent jitters, interruptions, and outright broken connectivity during online lectures left lecturers and students in frustration.

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Challenges

With the government closing the university campus due to COVID-19, lecturers had to turn to live streaming. Live streaming requires a strong and stable connection. However, many of the lecturers’ existing residential connections were unable to cope with the new demands. The university needed a solution that would be able to handle the heavy network traffic stably and smoothly.

In addition, the university urgently needed a reliable plug-and-play solution that would be easy to install in homes by the lecturers themselves.

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Solution

A solution was devised to use 20 UBR LTE routers inside the homes of lecturers. The routers are equipped with Peplink’s SpeedFusion technology to combine the bandwidth of 2x LTEs for fast and unbreakable connectivity straight out of the box. In addition, the routers were configured in advance so that lecturers only had to connect them to their computers to begin uninterruptible streaming.

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Result

Within days, The University of Hong Kong lecturers had fast and reliable connectivity by combining 2x LTEs. Streaming quality was further improved with Peplink’s WAN Smoothing technology which ensured jitter-free video streaming by mitigating the effects of packet loss and uneven network latency. As a result, lecturers were able to deliver their lectures and keep classes running remotely from home. To top it off, the UBR ensures streaming stability by being capable of remotely deploying SIM cards. This allows the UBR to switch between cellular providers without any break in connection in the event that a provider loses connectivity.

The University of Hong Kong’s support team also saw benefits from Peplink technology. UBR’s simple plug-and-play system did not require any additional hardware to be installed. Along with Peplink’s InControl2 central management platform, the support team could easily perform configuration and troubleshooting remotely, thus minimizing the need for on-site visits. This solved the university’s streaming problems within days instead of weeks. Finally, the solution required minimal user training and kept costs much lower than networking solutions from comparable enterprises.

Deployment

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UBR

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