Contribution to reducing the effects of geographical separation between actors of virtual universities: Proposal of an IP-SMSC integrating value-added services solutions
This paper discusses an approach to allow virtual universities to propose as a solution one of the most used media of communication by the young people to reduce the distance effect between the different actors of the open and distance learning. In fact, this paper proposes a SMS solution based on IP protocol in a context where the various actors of an open and distance learning would communicate by means of an IP network. It’s the case of the open and distance learning platforms of the Senegalese universities that are interconnected by fiber-optic via the National Network for the Higher Education and Research of the Senegal. Of course, the 3GPP proposed a SMS Center norm in Long Term Evolution (LTE) environment but it makes appeal to the use of a complex network (IP Multimedia System: IMS) which is not relevant in the context of the virtual universities already working on an IP network. The SMS Center that we proposed is capable of interoperate with the SMS Centers of the traditional Telecommunication operators and also supports value added services to allow the different actors to make use of services by sending SMS from softphones installed on their traditional phones or mobile (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.). Our IP-SMSC solution was freely tested in an IP environment by the actors of the Senegalese Virtual University (UVS). It allowed teachers to broadcast a message to a group of students. The solution also allow students to discuss with each other by sending SMS on educational subjects and to request for any relevant type of information such as scholarships or available marks on some given courses.