R & D project

extending eduroam: delivering eduroam through 4G and 5G cellular connectivity on a low-cost flexible device

Extending the eduroam network to off-campus teaching and learning spaces.

Student with a backpack and bicycle wanders through town.


Expected outcome:

New service

edubox provides colleges and universities with new ways to connect to the eduroam network, beyond the existing fibre infrastructure, through mobile data backhaul connectivity.

Introducing edubox

Students and staff, teach and learn in many off-campus locations where a fixed eduroam network is not always possible or feasible.

Through our edubox proof-of-concept, we've helped colleges, universities and public sector organisations connect students and staff to Jisc's valued and secure eduroam service, by providing 4G/5G WiFi cellular connectivity in previously hard to reach locations.

Offered as a Jisc managed cloud service via Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager (zero-touch, remote management and reporting), with a secure automated eduroam configuration.

edubox provides a cost-effective, faster, agile and secure means for authenticated users to access eduroam through cellular connectivity across the UK.

Addressing sector connectivity challenges

Student digital poverty

The edubox 4G device (IBR900) is small enough to fit into a rucksack and is simple to install, just plug-in and go. Students automatically connect to the eduroam network, providing a reliable and seamless internet connectivity experience when studying at home. Guidance is now available to help students get connected to eduroam (pdf)

Off-campus teaching and learning spaces

The edubox 4G/5G device (E3000) connects up to 100 concurrent users, so is perfect for larger teaching and learning spaces like libraries, sports stadiums and off-campus lecture theatres in hospitals.

Commuter students

The in-vehicle edubox 4G/5G device (R1900) connects students to the eduroam network, while travelling on local bus services, providing valuable hours of additional study time.

Find out more about how eduroam can increase accessibility, reduce IT workload and help close the digital equity gap, in a blog post by Tom Hayman, cloud chief technology officer.

Our project partners

  • Bridgend College – Equine Centre
  • Keele University – Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
  • Keele University – The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital
  • Cardiff University / NHS Wales – Bronllys Hospital
  • Cardiff University / NHS Wales – Nevill Hall Hospital
  • Cardiff University / NHS Wales – Royal Gwent Hospital
  • University of Sunderland – Fire Station Theatre
  • AQL
  • Libraries Connected – Coventry Central Library
  • Libraries Connected – Leamington Spa Library
  • University of Liverpool – Kids in Bloom Nursery
  • Merritts Brook Primary Academy
  • University of Gloucestershire – new campus build
  • University of Edinburgh – PG Halls of Residence
  • Queen Mary University of London – Sports Ground
  • University for the Creative Arts – Brewery Tap Exhibition Space
  • Swansea University – Campus to Campus Bus

About edubox devices

Each edubox model provides eduroam WiFi cellular connectivity through 4G/5G mobile data backhaul between 25mb – 400mb, depending on locally available mobile network operator (MNO) coverage (EE, Vodafone, 3 and O2).

Devices in the range include:

  • edubox IBR900 - up to 5 concurrent users
  • edubox E300 - up to 20 concurrent users
  • edubox E3000 - up to 100 concurrent users
  • edubox W1850 adapter - support E3000 edubox devices where cellular connectivity inside buildings is proving a challenge
  • edubox R1900 - up to 100 concurrent users for in-vehicle use cases

edubox devices are dispatched with two SIM cards (the strongest MNOs in the area) one as the primary SIM, the second as a failover SIM in case of cellular outage

Get involved

We are already working with 21 organisations across HE, FE and public sector and plan to work with another 33 organisations in the beta phase (1st March 2023 through to the end of June 2023).If you would like to take part in the beta phase please contact either your relationship manager or Victoria Atherstone, Innovation consultant at Jisc (victoria.atherstone@jisc.ac.uk)

Meet the project team

  • Victoria Atherstone

    Innovation consultant, Jisc
  • Chris Murray

    Senior infrastructure architect, Jisc
  • Peter Kent

    Innovation consultant, Jisc
  • Jon Agland

    Technical services manager, Jisc