Published on August 25th, 2016 | by Craig Herrett0
4Gon Solutions discuss 4G and 5G opportunities with Comms Business Magazine
Craig Herrett, COO at 4Gon, spoke to Comms Business about 4G opportunities, the coverage and the early impressions of what we can expect from 5G.
Comment from Craig Herrett
What kind of opportunities for resellers exist now solely because of 4G coverage?
We’ve seen the door open to a wealth of new opportunities, across a vast number of different industries. The speed at which a 4G network can be set up is a lot quicker than a broadband network, meaning it is far more dynamic.
There are huge opportunities in the hospitality sector. 4G is now used in at music festivals and sports events, in order to cope with the huge mobile demands placed on them by guests, and has proved to be a perfect tool for promotions. At events that last a day or a few days, it is important that the setup is fast and straightforward.
Healthcare has also seen major benefits that are ultimately saving lives. Network failover is critical to avoid any downtime providing efficiency in patient diagnosis and care. 4G has enabled an improvement in home monitoring and mobile support. Real time updates can be sent from the equipment monitoring the patient to whoever is looking after them. Cellular connection also enables for better deployment of vehicles, and accurate location statistics. Paramedics will also be fully aware of the patient’s medical history before they arrive on the scene. 4G also enables remote consultations between patients and GPs. This enables checkups to be carried out face to face over the internet, and for assessments and observations to be made by the medical personnel, when it is not possible to meet in person. This can help elderly or vulnerable people.
Another example is the Emergency Services. Vehicle hotspots are important for connectivity on the road, enabling location tracking for deployment purposes, and access to central databases. For the Police, this means less time spent completing administrative tasks in the office, and up to date records on the move. For the Ambulance service this means access to patient records and medical history before arriving on the scene, plus location information for the office to send the nearest vehicle to an Emergency. With the prominence of 4G nowadays, it is possible to have always on connectivity.
Another example of a deployment made possible through 4G is number plate recognition. The information from the camera is sent to a database using 4G and can alert the forces immediately if there is an issue with a particular vehicle.
Has the Channel embraced 4G? Are there opportunities still to unlock?
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In your opinion, has 4G delivered and is coverage as uniform across the country as we are led to believe?
It is getting better but many rural communities in particular are definitely missing out. The Government are now putting pressure on providers to get 4G coverage to areas currently missing out.
I think for the places where 4G coverage is prominent it has delivered. Ofcom’s figures show 4G consistently outperforming 3G in download speed, upload speed and latency.
Early estimates say 5G will be ready to roll out by 2020, what are you expecting from this new supercharged mobile connectivity?
The discussion about 5G is really exciting and suggests that 5G could change the mobile landscape forever.
Previous generations of mobile standards have been designed to meet our needs as consumers. It seems 5G is going to go way beyond that. There is talk of speeds of up to 10Gbps which is extraordinary. When you look at the Internet of Things and the possibilities available there already, the new infrastructure will enable this to be taken to the next level.
It is predicted there will be over 20 billion devices connected to the Internet by the time the 5G infrastructure is in place in around 2020. If 5G is properly embraced by society, it will be far more than just a quick wireless network.
How important is mobile connectivity to the future revenues of the Channel?
I think it is absolutely vital. There are so many possibilities and new technologies that will be able to exist thanks to mobile connectivity. We are seeing life saving technologies, particularly in healthcare and the emergency services.
4G has started to relieve some of the strain put on the mobile network by the demands of users. If 5G delivers, it will go way beyond the demands that users have. As enterprises continue to migrate to the cloud and employees continue to work further away from their desk, the reliance on mobile connectivity will become more and more.
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