It’s always difficult trying to predict the future, particularly after the global turmoil of 2020, but one thing is certain – telecommunications is going to play an important role as businesses bid to get back on track in the year ahead.
A new year brings new hopes, renewed optimism and higher expectations as vaccines are rolled out, hopefully speeding up a return to normality, and telecoms will be the driving force behind the recovery in 2021. So what does the year ahead have in store?
A real game-changer and 2021 is the year we finally start to see 5G begin to realise its full potential. It’s an exciting prospect and something which will make a big difference to the way we work, play and create in the future – opening up endless possibilities for new and innovative ideas.
5G has faster wireless technology, greater capacity and is more responsive than anything previously seen, a massive upgrade on the way we live our lives on a daily basis. During the next year we will see the appearance of commercially live standalone 5G networks which will:
- Herald a new era of network embedded services, helping to bridge the gap between business needs and technology.
- Revolutionise the way services are delivered.
- Enable the creation of highly productive new services.
5G will be more easily available as providers step-up their roll-out programmes across the country to meet the demand from customers.
The need for staff to work remotely became a necessity for many businesses during 2020 with lots of lessons learnt as employers and employees came to terms with a new way of working. The results of these lessons will be enhanced and refined over the year ahead to meet operational demands of life in 2021.
Good communication is vital for business. A video link helped staff stay connected in 2020 and companies to thrash out deals face-to-face, without the need to actually meet.
Video communication has proved problematic in the past with results not always meeting expectations. But this, too, improved out of necessity in 2020 and will continue to improve in 2021. Video Conferencing has already come a long way. It will continue to improve and become even more user-friendly as the year progresses, aided by a higher quality of video and audio, increased reliability and a toughening of security protocols.
Pretty much everything was cancelled in 2020 but meetings, shows, awards, exhibitions and many other events were still able to go ahead virtually. We sincerely hope an end to the world of social distancing is in sight but must face the possibility that we may be living in the Covid bubble for some time.
If so, event organisers and businesses must draw on the positives afforded by going virtual in 2021. It’s a viable, workable, alternative and one which could make all the difference in the battle for economic survival.
More users will be moving to the Cloud this year – something which allows greater flexibility while eliminating many of the technical and practical problems more associated with traditional onsite systems.
It’s an efficient option when it comes to remote working, potentially a much cheaper alternative and an easier to manage system with the increase in 5G device and traffic usage.
The Internet of Things
Covid has seen more and more things connected to the internet, assets, services and devices which have enabled businesses to keep operating and the country working.
Mobile health clinics and testing stations, the touchless order and delivery of items, remote asset monitoring and smart offices are just some of the ways this valuable service is working. It’s a significant trend and something which will only increase in 2021.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP is becoming an increasingly popular technology which is allowing businesses to communicate in a variety of ways through a broadband connection rather than the more traditional telephone. These calling systems are innovative and will be much more in demand as the year progresses.
Working from home securely
Home working has become the norm and is likely to be a policy that will continue for many after the pandemic. As more employees and their staff realise the advantages of working remotely, it’s important that businesses don’t drop their guard and they must continue to ensure their data and sensitive information is kept safe and secure.
The beginning of a new year is the ideal time for firms to review their security and working practices to ensure all working from home devices have secure connectivity.