With the advent of 5G and improved fibre connectivity rollouts across the UK, connectivity won’t be an issue in the not-too-distant future.
How many times have we said or heard ‘why is my internet so slow,’ ‘I have a bad connection’ or ‘the Wi-Fi is playing up’?
Connectivity drives and contributes to the effectiveness of how the Internet of Things (IoT) works. Good connectivity allows for an infinite universe of technological advances within the IoT, from smart conurbations and cars to intelligent appliances and dog collars, the planet is becoming more connected every day.
So, what is the Internet of things (IoT)?
“The Internet of things describes physical objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks”
The IoT relies on connectivity to exist and technological advances in connectivity mean increased developments in the devices that rely on it. What does that mean for individuals and businesses? There are endless benefits for both – improved productivity, better user experience, greater flexibility and communications for businesses through to better work-life balance and lifestyle choices for individuals.
Businesses that have enhanced connectivity often lead their field in customer experience, productivity, and profitability. In a world where every customer counts, user experience is key and their ability to connect with you via multiple channels is essential.
There are a multitude of devices that we use in our everyday lives, and we often take them for granted when it comes to connectivity, like video doorbells or Wi-Fi heating systems, but all these contribute to the internet of things and continue to push the need for greater speeds and reliability from our connectivity.
Given recent events, staying connected with family and friends has relied on our ability to connect via voice and video calls., not to mention the rapid rollout of home working. There are more than 46 million daily users of the internet in the UK alone, all relying on the ability to connect to their friends, family and colleagues using the IoT.
The ultimate answer to this is speed and reliability. With a fast and reliable connection anything within the IoT becomes more usable and, ultimately, improves the end users value and experience. Whether that is a business giving customers a far better user experience, an employee being able to work from anywhere or controlling the heating remotely before you get home – reliable and fast connectivity is what brings all this to fruition.
Apart from the standard equipment that comes to mind for connectivity like computers and phones, the IoT covers a vast array of things, such as:
Connected appliances – toaster fridges, washing machines and even light bulbs!
Smart home security systems – even doorbells are now part of the IoT.
Autonomous farming equipment – farming has seen many benefits from modern technology with autonomous equipment and machinery delivering amazing improvements for farmers across the globe.
Smart factory equipment – Production lines autonomously reacting to supply and demand. Logistic networks autonomously routing goods based on real-world conditions.
Connected Vehicles – Many autonomous vehicles are already used in certain applications and the driverless car is not that far off.
Elevating experiences – Immersive virtual meetings to boost remote team productivity with greater realism in VR, AR, and extended reality (XR) enabling smaller and lighter devices.
Weather and Disaster – Connected sensors that can detect and warn of natural disasters early or simply just for predicting weather patterns.
Greener Power – Smarter electricity grids for greatly reduced carbon emissions.
The list is almost endless for the Internet of Things.
With traditional copper connectivity (PSTN) being switched off in the UK by 2025, enhanced connectivity is being delivered to more people across the country on a daily basis.
The potential boost to UK productivity, by 2025, through nationwide full fibre is £59 billion according to Openreach. And with more than two million people now working from home the potential for that to increase even further is now a reality more than ever.
The 5G rollout is expected to have most of the UK covered by the end of 2022. This means technological advances in numerous areas that rely on connectivity can be developed and deployed. Greater speed means faster transfers of data enabling many businesses to undergo major transformations with their workforce. As we have seen in recent times, remote working is becoming the norm, but with that comes the need for improved data transfers and more reliable infrastructure and that’s where 5G will help.
5G is up to one hundred times faster than current 4G technology and faster data means businesses can evolve even quicker allowing for improved customers experiences in the field, innovative technology creation and remote working capabilities.
The capabilities of the 5G network are astonishing. It will provide prospects, create jobs we don’t even know exist yet – there is no need to imagine what might happen, it’s happening already.
Fibre is already changing the way we all do things from healthcare through to the simple things like movie quality experience in your own home. Complex surgical operations can be performed without the need for a surgeon to be in the same city or even the same country, cloud data centres allow businesses to operate from, virtually, any geographical location without the need for substantial amounts of hardware.
High speed fibre connections now give businesses the opportunity to run cloud-based PCs -, a virtual computer that you can scale up or down depending on your needs. As there is no physical hardware, clouds-based computers can be streamed from any device utilising the virtual PC’s power and abilities.
5G connectivity will enhance the way we travel amongst other things. Autonomous vehicles are still some way off for the average user, however high-risk environments are already leading the way with this technology. Just over 5 years ago more than 50% of all new cars sold in the UK featured autonomous safety features like automated emergency braking, lane assist tech and internet connectivity over mobile networks keeping vehicle occupants connected to the online world.
Better connectivity increases not only job opportunities, but a better work-life balance for many workers, across the globe. Working from home and hybrid working are fast becoming the new normal, providing companies with happier employees, which has been possible with improved levels of connectivity and technology.
By 2025, it is reported that Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, effectively replacing Boomers and drastically reducing the representation of Generation X. Millennials have grown up using the IoT more than any other generation and are more connected than any other. Therefore, businesses need to cater for the changing needs of the new workforce.
“75% of millennials working remotely are engaged at work. Earlier research showed that millennials wanted a greater work-life balance. According to the latest report, more than two-thirds have achieved this goal by working from home. This way, one of the most critical problems with millennials in the workplace has been solved.| Gallup.com
As connectivity improves, more and more so does our insatiable appetite for information.
Connectivity is a part of everyday life now, whether for business or personal use and is constantly improving everything we do. As the IoT increases, so does the amount of data needed to run it and with a virtually unlimited number of things that can be connected the connectivity needs to be fast and dependable.
‘The UK has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. Almost the entire nation has access to the internet with an estimated 62.86 million monthly users in 2021. This is expected to rise to over 65 million monthly users by 2026.’| vstatista.com
There is no doubt that the digital ecosystem is a complex creature that relies on connectivity, what that looks like 10-20 years from now boggles the mind. Advances in technology and the way we interconnect with the Internet of Things will, hopefully, only improve the way we work, live and play.
Reliable and fast connectivity has been one of the only things holding back a surge in the IoT, especially for more urban and rural areas, however, with the commitment and rollout of high-speed fibre and 5G networks across the UK, the future landscape looks extremely promising.
With greater connectivity comes the freedom for businesses to spread more geographically, creating more opportunities in urban and rural areas. The benefits both financially and from a work culture point of view are extremely promising
One thing is for sure, businesses that harness the potential of the IoT will surge forward with improved productivity and profitability, with the ability to maintain workforce wellbeing and improved work-life balance.
If you’re looking to harness first class connectivity for your business, our team of experts can help. Whether it’s MPLS/IP VPN connectivity, leased lines, point-to-point circuit, broadband or managed Wi-Fi,Elite Group have you covered. Call us on 0344 875 8880 and our expert team will help you to improve your business with the latest connectivity solutions.
Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and unified communication services to organisations seeking Business Mobile, Cloud, Networking, Connectivity, and Telephony solutions.