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August 01, 2011

Sprint Nextel to Conduct Three-Year Study on Students' Wireless and Social Networking Habits

By Sujata Garud, TMCnet Contributor

Sprint (News - Alert) Nextel has joined the University of Notre Dame’s preeminent research center aimed at developing innovations and educating students in wireless technology, economics and regulatory policy in a three-year study by The Wireless Institute. It will assist the Wireless Institute by offering 200 devices and two years of service for the students who volunteer for the study, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Mobile technology is central to the lives of American youth. They’re masters at social networking, gaming and multi-tasking. There’s an interest in learning if this technology has changed their face-to-face behavior. We are honored to partner with such a highly respected university on this landmark study,” said Dan Hesse (News - Alert), CEO, Sprint, in a release.

The study will be lead by four Notre Dame professors, Aaron Striegel, Christian Poellabauer, David Hachen and Omar Lizardo, who will monitor 200 students with specially outfitted smartphones from Sprint. These devices will have a featherweight agent that tracks how students use the phones and how they interact digitally with fellow students.

“The study will offer an unprecedented look into how students use mobile devices. The data gathered from the study will offer profound insights about the social impact of always-on network access as well as improve how we design and manage future wireless networks. The relationship with Sprint allows us to offer a cutting-edge smartphone with unlimited text and data services to a sizeable portion of the incoming freshmen class,” said Dr. Aaron Striegel, associate professor in Notre Dame’s College of Computer Science and Engineering.

Sprint Nextel (News - Alert) was recently in news when it announced the closing of a deal Thursday that could bring it billions for a next-generation network makeover and kick deployment of that wireless system into overdrive.

Sujata Garud is a TMCnet freelancer with three years of writing/editing experience and two years of market research experience. As an editor she has covered the IT, electronics, banking, pharma, construction, mining and healthcare industries. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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