The sector of telecommunications is ever expanding and 2017 looks set to be a year of profound change to introduce new technology and meet the increased consumer demand.
Last year, the UK alone saw a huge growth in mobile data traffic, 4G network use and broadband traffic. According to the latest Ofcom report, not only has the number of adults with smartphones risen, but the 4G plans entered into has risen by nearly 7 million in just over 3 years.
Here APWireless take a look at the future of telecommunications in the UK and how this might be affecting you as a consumer:
Preparing For The Regulatory Reform
With Brexit on everyone’s mind at the moment, the EU are carrying out a review of the EU Telecoms Directives as part of the Digital Single Market review. Outlining their main focus, they have said their new incentives are to:
‘Give schools, universities, research centres, transport hubs, public services and digital enterprises access to ultrafast broadband capable of delivering speeds of at least 1 Gbps; to give every household in the European Union (EU) access to broadband capable of delivering speeds of at least 100Mbps, that can be upgraded to gigabit connectivity later; and to give all urban areas, major roads and railways 5G coverage, with a 5G network to be made available in at least one major city in each EU state by 2020.’
This aims to increase broadband signal strength, connectivity and bridge the gap between rural and urban telecommunications networks. However, with the Brexit talks still underway, there are discussions to be had on both the practicality and cost of these expansions.
Proposed Mast Installations Across The UK
Heading into an age of the 5G network, EU regulation reforms and IoT expansion means that mobile phone masts across the UK are planned to be installed across various sites. This summer there are many temporary masts being installed across England and Wales to boost signals to major festivals such as Reading and Latitude festival.
In rural areas, especially in Wales and Scotland which were ranked the worst in the Which? Survey of the best mobile phone signals, it is important that governments set out plans for installing mobile phone masts in areas which need this connectivity the most.
The 5G Network
The Spectrum auctions have already begun as the leading mobile phone networks from across the UK bid on airwaves in the 3.4GHz region. This can be used for 5G networks as the Exchequer Autumn statement outlined an investment of over £1bn over the next four years.
For consumers this means stronger broadband signals, better phone signal across the UK and faster speeds when using mobile data.
Expansion in IoT
The internet of things (IoT) fundamental idea is to connect devices using the internet. It allows devices to talk to us, other applications and each other.
In 2017 there are calls for everyone from the police to kitchen companies, to embrace the internet of things. From smart fridges to digital technologies designed to improve surveillance, precision and accuracy, these devices can heavily impact upon the environment in which we live in.
Experts have predicted that the number of mobile devices will more than double before 2020.
With these changes and expansions in the telecommunications industry happening over the next few years, it looks as if our problems with lack of signal, interconnectivity and broadband strength are to be long gone.