In recent weeks, a row between Big Tech and European telecoms operators has begun over who should be responsible for funding the rollout of 5G and broadband. It is a clash that drew in the European Union, who have so far taken a neutral position.
Referencing a 12-week consultation recently launched by the European Commission, EU industry chief Thierry Breton signalled that the bloc is taking an open-minded approach to the issue of ‘fair share’ and who picks up the tab for 5G and broadband network rollout in the future.
In partnership with 21 carriers, the GSMA Open Gateway initiative proposes a framework to provide universal, open-source application programming interfaces (APIs) into carrier networks.
The intention is that developers can access a variety of mobile network services, such as location, identity verification, and carrier billing, that all would once have been too complex or costly to integrate and utilise.
The last three years with Covid-19 and lockdowns has profoundly impacted all walks of life. On the railways this appears to have fundamentally shifted passenger demand, with the Office Rail and Road noting that the annual number of journeys has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Our client wanted to understand how these changes may impact current and future geographical demand for rail passenger mobile connectivity. With a choice of technical interventions – ranging from addressing “not-spots” only, through to dedicated infrastructure solutions – establishing the baseline requirements is an important first step in the development of policy.
We all know how poor mobile phone connections, and the on-train wifi that relies on these too, can be when travelling by train.
Apart from the obvious signal blockers like deep cuttings and tunnels, trains run through rural areas with few villages, towns or roads and hence little incidental mobile coverage. Add in busy trains (at least pre-pandemic), carrying the equivalent of a small village worth of people all attempting to connect to their nearest mobile operator’s cellular basestation, and its unsurprising that Transport Focus  found that passengers only receive a good 4G connection some 58 per cent of the time.
2021 was a thundering year for the MVNO sector as its market size hit US$ 73.3 billion. Furthermore, forecasts were made that the industry is set to register a CAGR of 7.5% between 2022 and 2030, taking it to a staggering US$ 140.2 billion.
Of course, 2021 was also a year that was heavily influenced by the pandemic. A notable upshot of the various lockdowns was amplified consumer expectation for digital experiences and the emergence of new mobile behaviours.
In a landmark development in the relationship between the two tech giants, it was announced in July that AT&T – the world’s largest telecoms company, and the second largest provider of mobile telephone services – will transfer management of its mobile network traffic over to Microsoft Azure, beginning with their 5G core.
5 tech predictions for 2020: A new decade is upon us, what can we expect to have seen by the time it’s over?
One could forgive anyone making predictions for the decade ahead to find themselves hurtling down a Helter-Skelter of Doomsday prophecies. What with the prospect of WW3 being provoked via a series of tweets and missile strikes, climate disaster hanging over the planet like a giant anvil supported by a rickety crane, and the proliferation of fake news making people question what their own names are, these feel like precarious times.
When we pause to think about the technologies that are having transformative effects on business, initial thoughts often turn to the likes of automation, faster payments, Cloud solutions and even more emergent solutions, such as AI. While it’s true that these technologies can be catalysts for commercial growth and evolution, there is another which is seeing widespread uptake and changing the way organisations operate; business analytics.
It is notoriously difficult to predict what the future will look like and which innovations and inventions will stand the test of time. Even the most expert and decorated individuals have struggled to forecast with consistent accuracy. Take Sir William Preece, the Chief Engineer of the British Post Office, who in 1878 said, “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” Our Bill was a little off the mark, but history is littered with similarly inexact projections.
When conversation turns to mobile phones, a standard question people have for each other is, “Who are you with?” It’s a question which often then leads to discussions around tariffs, data allowances, available handsets and the number of free texts bestowed per month.
Imagine for a moment heading back in time, not particularly far back in time, let’s say 2002. Your destination, if you can handle the excitement, is your local supermarket. Your task, and again – retain some composure – is to do your weekly shop.
Travel back in time to only a few years ago and the name Huawei barely registered with most people. It was a small-ish Chinese company who made smartphones for those adventurous enough to break away from the dynasties of Apple and Samsung and that was about it. Huawei though, were quietly creeping up the smartphone charts and as of February 2019, were the second largest manufacturer of android-ready devices on the planet.