One problem I can foresee for colleges thinking about using 3G technology is the connectivity issues that they may have using multiple 3G devices inside a building.
I noticed this device (mentioned in PCW Magazine) as a potential solution.
Oyster 3G is the home access femtocell that delivers high-quality 3G spectrum into the home. Because it uses the customer’s broadband it actually adds capacity to your macro network, improving service for everyone in the cell, indoors or out.
Though this technology in theory just makes it easier for 3G devices to connect to a 3G network, I believe you would still be charged your usual 3G data charges.
I wonder if this or a similar technology could be used to create your own institutional 3G network, so 3G devices could use the JANET connection to connect to the internet via this institutional 3G network rather than pay the data charges.
I suspect though that this would not be possible as the mobile phone operators paid a fortune for the 3G licences and therefore would not want to lose any potential revenue. However I wonder if possible partnerships could be set up? I know that this is what at-Bristol did with Orange with their local mobile phone network.