American University to roll out campus wireless system

American University in Washington, D.C., will roll out a campus-wide wireless system designed to give students, faculty and employees wireless access to university data.

The system is designed to improve voice and data communications in the university and reduce the use of traditional phones on campus, American University said Wednesday in a statement. It is expected to be ready in time for the September 2002 semester.

Using wireless devices such as cell phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and notebook computers, students, teachers and university staffers will be able to, among other things, connect to the Internet, send and receive e-mail messages, and access Web-based university information, such as class schedules.

The system will also allow university officials to push out to the users university-related information, such as alerts about class cancellations and information about campus events. The system has been designed to provide wireless connectivity to users who are indoors as well as outdoors, the university said.

IT services provider KPMG Consulting Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, is in charge of implementing the system, the university said. The university carried out a two-month trial of the system in its business school and one residence hall.

In the current academic year, American University has 5,501 undergraduate students, 3,161 graduate students and 1,532 students in its law school, as well as full-time faculty of 566 teachers, according to the university's Web site.

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