Vilnius University Centre of Telecommunications Science is today complemented with two new facilities: the region's only Huawei Network Academy was opened in the Faculty of Physics, with Lithuania's fifth Mobile Apps Laboratory also opening its doors at the centre. The academy will organise training sessions for students as well as business people, and the new Mobile Apps Laboratory will stand out from the earlier ones with its distinctively business-oriented solutions that will germinate there. Some of the first are already in the development stage, even before the laboratory officially opens.
'This expansion of the Telecommunications Science Centre means, first and foremost, new opportunities for our students. Here they will be able to learn to work with Huawei devices, while the laboratory will be a place to gain experience and exchange thoughts with professionals in the field, polish ideas, focus on implementation, and perhaps even start a business. This means better opportunities for Vilnius University students and excellent new specialists for Lithuania and the world at large in the future,' says Prof. Habil. Dr. Jūras Banys, Interim Rector at Vilnius University (VU).
With the increasing use of Huawei equipment for computer networks in both Lithuania and Europe, there is more demand for professionals able to work with these devices. There are several Huawei network training centres in Europe, the closest of which is in the Netherlands.
'Huawei is renowned as one of the leading communication technology manufacturers and technological pioneers in the world, offering cutting-edge solutions. In establishing the Huawei Network Academy together with VU, we seek to introduce the latest communication technologies to students and everyone else interested in them, improving the knowledge of young specialists, stimulating their interest in communication technologies, and boosting the level of specialists' expertise in the region. Our academy will provide the opportunity to learn from Huawei-certified tutors, and make use of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. In this way, we seek to improve the supply of highly qualified and skilled professionals with a good standing in the labour market. One of the most cherished assets in the rapidly growing and highly promising communication technology market, indeed its main impetus, are professionals in this field, and we hope that the knowledge and experience gained in the new academy will help nurture young professionals, enabling them to aim higher,' says George Zhang, Country Manager at Huawei Baltic.
The first training sessions in the new academy are scheduled for early June.
Developing a smart home solution
Lithuania's first Mobile Apps Laboratory for business will also focus on smart home solutions that are becoming increasingly popular in the world. These control various devices or services with minimum or no user effort, e.g. switch on and off home appliances over a distance, regulate temperature and humidity level, security systems, etc. According to telecommunications company TeliaSonera, double-figure growth in demand for such services is forecast for this year, with some 100,000,000 home appliances to be based on this technology in the Baltic and Nordic regions by 2020.
First-year student in VU Master's programme in Telecommunications, Physics, and Electronics and head of SMARTNFC UAB, Gediminas Žukauskas, has already started developing a smart home solution, which he expects to refine and modernise in the new lab.
'Making the best of the available facilities in the new laboratory and with help from my colleagues, I hope to refine the solution I have been working on, and adapt it for smart phones in a way that utilises all the available potential and makes the technology simple and engaging, just like a computer game. My technology will not be limited to helping to control processes in homes. It will also serve as an e-advisor that informs users about all changes at home in their absence, such as environment conditions, security, energy use, and the operation of electronic devices, helping to react and take care of their security and convenience in a timely manner,' explains Mr. Žukauskas.
The mobile apps laboratories network is expanding
The Mobile Apps Laboratory for business that opened today in VU is already the second such lab in the university, and the fifth in Lithuania. The university's first laboratory was opened in its Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics 18 months ago.
'The first four labs are successfully creating apps for the general public. The new lab is unique by the fact that it will focus on strictly business-oriented solutions – there has recently been a huge demand for these in the market. Analysts predict that in the near future people will have an increasing number of devices containing SIM cards, all of which "communicating" between themselves. And we need to come up with the right solutions to facilitate the successful communication of this kind. This laboratory intended for business solutions is already the fifth of our labs, and the continuation of our "ecosystem" of Mobile Apps Laboratories,' says Antanas Zabulis, President of Omnitel, which contributed to the creation of all five labs.
All five labs, based at four Lithuanian higher-education institutions, have more than a hundred workstations with all the necessary equipment. According to Tomas Martūnas, who is the head of the company creating and expanding the network of Mobile Apps Laboratories, AppCamp, such a huge number of workstations and equipment will undoubtedly help university students gain the practical experience so highly appreciated by their future employers.
'The two main things that bring students to mobile apps laboratories are the experience and cooperation they offer. Some young people are excellent programmers, but lack a specific idea to work on. While others, conversely, have ideas cannot implement them themselves. And both groups are welcome at Mobile Apps Laboratories. Here they have the space to realise their ideas and capabilities together,' says Martūnas.
The other three Mobile Apps Laboratories are at Kaunas University of Technology, Klaipėda State College, and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.