As we come to the end of 2017 we have seen a plenty of growth in telecoms and media technology but what will we see in 2018?

5G – Are you in a 2018 test bed?

It does not seem long ago that we were introduced to 4G on mobiles and tablets, then the development of 5G was announced – a network that allows users to download a full HD movie in 10 seconds, a tenth of the speed of 4G. In 2018 the first set of trials will be set up in London, the North East and Worcester. Although these trials may not actually go live until 2018, test beds will be organised and set up in preparation. The City of London in partnership with Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure will start installing 5G access points into London, while the North East has secured funding to develop a business case for making the North East a key focus area for 5G test beds.

Cloud Services

Cloud based applications and storage facilities have grown in popularity over 2017 with systems like Windows 10, Dropbox and Google Drive. All these have been around for some time, but with the significant developments made in 2017, their use has grown considerably. Going forward into 2018 the uses of cloud based applications will continue to grow in popularity, assisting in implementing large scale VoIP networks, the sharing of documents between freelance/remote employees as well as more secure storage of sensitive information. Applications are slowly being coupled with storage systems to provide all in one applications for users.

Communicating with Light

Visible Light Communications (VLC) have been in use for many years now, mainly in cars, traffic lights and ultraviolet/infrared (IR). However, the Visual Light Communication Association (VLCA) are looking more in to the uses of Light as a communication option for businesses and factory networks. VLC has been used in Li-Fi applications – the use of high speed VLC in scenarios where Wi-Fi is also used, using light rather than radio to transmit. In 2018 after the conference in March, they hope to have a plan of development for more uses in communications and Internet of Things.

Virtual Reality

Not something usually associated with communications, but Virtual Reality has seen plenty of use expansions over 2017, and they are only going to continue to develop further in 2018. What started off as a new way of gaming has expanded to allow businesses to share tours of facilities before they are constructed, and provide simulations of products as well as be used in medical situations.

Going forward, businesses could easily use VR when communicating with customers. For example, in the textile industry it could allow suppliers to hold meetings with potential customers without hundreds of swatches. Just load them up in the VR software and customers can see and feel how the fabrics will work for them. IT companies can create training modules for remote employees saving them travel time, or restricting themselves to local based employees.

Ultra Fast Broadband

The roll out of ultra fast broadband continues to be problematic with BT and other operators targeting residential areas and not business parks or town centres for the delivery of Fibre to the Premises. Ofcom recognise the problem but at the moment they are not doing much to change this focus. So the only real alternative for most businesses who need high speeds and guaranteed reliability is still a Internet Leased Line, that said costs are coming down and will continue to do so in 2018.

At the time of writing this article there were no big announcements of new technology, just the on-going development of existing technology and change of applications to better suit businesses. We at LTS aim to provide our clients with the most up to date telecommunication news, just keep coming back to our new blog see what other news we may have.