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Wright State University Foundation, altafiber, Nokia open 5G Test Lab at Emergence Center One

Wright State University Foundation, altafiber, Nokia open 5G Test Lab at Emergence Center One (February 20, 2024 article from the Dayton Business Journal)

By Nicole Mistretta – Data Reporter, Dayton Business Journal

Two major telecommunications companies — $25 billion international corporation Nokia and $448 million Ohio giant Altafiber — have joined forces with a local nonprofit to construct a 5G test lab in the Dayton region. Today, the space was finally unveiled.

The Wright State University Foundation, Altafiber and Nokia opened a 5G Test Lab at Emergence Center One located at 3070 Presidential Drive in Fairborn.

The 5,000-square-foot lab, Studio 5G, marks a renovation of an existing building owned by the foundation which has room to grow an additional 5,000 square feet. The project was worked on by Cincinnati contractor HBC 1 LLC.

Studio 5G aims to provide a hands-on environment to educate businesses about indoor and outdoor 4G and 5G technology, which enterprise organizations are increasingly using for their private networks to keep employees and devices connected in large buildings and open spaces. Private wireless 5G technology, like LTE, provides more coverage with greater reliability, deeper penetration with lower latency, and is more secure than typical Wi-Fi networks deployed today.

The 5G lab is equipped with training rooms, demonstration rooms, and private labs that companies can use to test and validate use cases that are specific to a problem that they are trying to solve for (i.e. connectivity, device operability, security, speed and latency).

“We are excited to support the Wright State University Foundation on this exciting project. The new 5G Test Lab will enable businesses to get a real understanding of how 5G can provide super-fast connectivity across a wide range of innovative use cases in both indoor and outdoor environments,” said Ed Alfonso, head of Americas at Nokia.

Emergence Center One, where Studio 5G is housed, is part of the Wright State University Foundation’s strategy to drive economic activity and growth in the Dayton region by connecting business with technology. Scott Rash, president and CEO of the Wright State University Foundation, said the foundation’s partnership with altafiber and Nokia around Studio 5G acts as a great example for why the foundation building was rebranded to Emergency Center One in 2020.

“We needed to think differently about how to leverage the building in the face of a difficult commercial real estate market and – after numerous conversations with altafiber and a trip to Dallas to see Nokia’s test lab – the idea of creating a living, working lab around this technology in Emergence Center One became a reality with Studio 5G,” Rash said. “It is the ultimate win-win – we partner with two great companies in bringing an emerging technology to the Dayton region while also diversifying the Foundation’s support of Wright State’s strategic goals.”

Altafiber’s partnership with the Wright State University Foundation marks the company’s latest investment in Dayton. It partners with multiple enterprise organizations in the Dayton region in verticals including health care, logistics and manufacturing. altafiber also opened an office and retail location on Webster Street in 2022 to support its growing presence in the city.


“We appreciate the Wright State University Foundation’s vision to connect business with technology through Emergence Center One, and we are excited to partner with Nokia on the 5G Test Lab,” said Greg Wheeler, president of business markets for altafiber. “This innovative space provides a tremendous opportunity to educate organizations on how 5G technology can support their strategic connectivity needs.”

Aside from the new facility, one other 5G lab exists at The Ohio State University. altafiber stated no other 5G facilities are currently planned in the state of Ohio.

Prior to the recent endeavor, altafiber has a long history and progressive experience in providing/managing large and complex wireless solutions as a service. The company has significant experience in building and managing wireless networks; is the leading supplier of fiber-based services in Greater Cincinnati; and provides backhaul services to the majority of the cellular macro towers in the region.

In 2021, Altafiber invested in CBRS Spectrum via the FCC auction. The company’s goal is to use the priority licenses to create business solutions for its enterprise customer base. Priority licenses include the following counties in Ohio and Kentucky:

Ohio – Butler, Clark, Clermont, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren Counties.

Kentucky – Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton Counties.


Dayton Business Journal Forty Under 40 WSU Excellence

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