How Mobile Tech Is Keeping Us Safe

Safeture App

Safeture App

Mobile technology is now the norm. Social media and mobile apps form a huge percentage of the way in which we communicate and even behave; it’s shaping our lives socially, psychologically and psychically. But in a time where the world is smaller yet more unpredictable than ever, how does mobile technology keep us safer than we were before?

Facebook Safety Check

Facebook Safety Check

The Facebook Safety Check is a feature on the social networking site that is activated during natural or man-made disasters to enable you to ‘check in’ as safe if you are in the affected area. The safety check was activated during the South Indian floods and the Nepal Earthquake and has been activated 10 times in 2016 so far – every single one due to a terrorist attack. For me, this is a social media tool that makes me proud to be part of the ‘social media generation’. At times, with Twitter trolls and anonymous comment culture I wonder whether social media is one of the worst things to happen to society but when tools such as the Facebook Safety Check are used to mark people safe during terrorist attacks it’s hard to argue so.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone

The ‘find my iPhone’ setting allows you to track the location of your phone via GPS which is undoubtedly helpful if your phone is lost or stolen. However, the application also has the capability of saving lives. Last year, missing university student James Hubert was located thanks to the ‘find my iPhone’ setting. Having been missing for more than two days after leaving a party his friends organised a search party to no avail. However upon using the ‘find my iPhone’ app to see where he was last located, his friends were led to a railway track almost 7 miles from where James was last seen at the party. His friends discovered him injured about 10 minutes away from the train track and took him to hospital where he was treated. Reports on what had happened to James are conflicted with James claiming to have been attacked by a homeless person whilst CCTV caught him jumping off a bridge onto a moving train.

Safeture

Safeture

Safeture, created by The Global Warning System, is just one of the many new apps that provide real-time alerts and information about security, safety and health threats to travellers all around the world whilst keeping them in contact with their family and friends at home. This summer, Safeture are launching a Rio-specific app to ensure that people travelling to Rio for the Olympics will be safe with alerts ranging from political protests to updates on the Zika virus.

“In preparations for the games in Rio, we have put together a dedicated monitoring group consisting of professional analysts that will keep a close eye on everything that unfolds before, during and in the aftermath of the event. If something unexpected occurs, GWS app users will be the first to know and they will be professionally advised on how to act,” Johan Tinnerholm, COO at Safeture.

Vismo

Vismo is a phone tracking app that is designed for use during and after terrorist attacks and other incidents to track its users and transfer vital information. Used during the Charlie Hebdo attack, the app turns into a tracking device with a panic button when activated by the user; email and texts alerts are automatically sent in real time to key contacts and the phone sends covert audio recordings to those contacts which can be pivotal in gaining inside information on the situation. The server also shares also its information with the emergency services with precise coordinates of the location.

St John Ambulance

The first aid app, created by St John Ambulance, gives users first aid advice ranging from CPR to allergic reactions. With up to 140,000 people dying each year in situations where first aid could have saved them, the app offers step by step prompts for a range of emergencies from mild accidents to severe medical conditions.

Safetynets

Safetynets

With 80,000 sex workers in the United Kingdom, the risk of violent crime against them is disproportionately high with a lot of victims reluctant to report attacks to the police; the result being that crimes against sex workers not only go unpunished but are often repeated. Reason Digital have developed an app to improve the safety of sex workers through real time safety alerts, reports of suspicious behavior and a panic button; all whilst remaining anonymous.

These are just some of the many mobile technologies and applications that are being created to help save lives in today’s society. With communication happening at a faster rate than ever before, it’s important to be able to keep each other safe and updated with as much information as possible to make the new world a safer and more secure place.

IoT To Overtake Mobile By 2018

According to a Mobility Report conducted by Ericsson, Internet of Things devices will overtake mobile phones as the “largest category of connected device by 2018”.

iot

This may seem unsurprising to those who are aware that the category of Internet of Things devices ranges from cars, electronics, machines, utility metres, health devices and the like. Combined, these products are set to heavily outweigh standalone mobile phones in the next few years.

There are currently 4.6 billion cellular and non-cellular Internet of Things connected devices which, although is growing rapidly, doesn’t come close to the 10 billion mobile phone devices, laptops, tablets and fixed phones that we currently use. The report predicts that in less than 2 years the number of Internet of Things devices will rise rapidly to 16 billion with mobile phone devices steadily rising from 10 to around 11 billion; the amount of smartphones used, however, is set to double. This rise in IoT connected devices is set to be the highest within Western Europe and Asia with many IoT products already being manufactured in those parts of the world and a 400% rise forecast for 2021.

Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer at Ericsson, explained that:

“IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge. From 2020, commercial deployment of 5G networks will provide additional capabilities that are critical for IoT, such as network slicing and the capacity to connect exponentially more devices than is possible today.”

The report also found that smartphone subscriptions are expected to grow from 3.4 billion to 6.3 billion by 2021, overtaking the amount of basic mobile phones in use. To many, that comes as no surprise since almost 80% of all mobile phones sold in the first quarter of 2016 and continues to rise.

Another unsurprising prediction is the rise in the amount of mobile data we use. From just 2015 to 2016 the amount of data used grew by 60% as more of our lives are run online and more data is shared. Ericsson predict that by the year 2021 the amount of data we use will grow by up to 12 times with almost 90% of mobile data traffic coming from smartphones.

Jabra Evolve are the #1 headsets for increasing productivity

Jabra Evolve are the #1 headsets for increasing productivity

Headsets. Productivity. Evolved.
jabraevolve

Businesses lose out on £250m/year from distractions at work – The Jabra Evolve is here to help

Businesses are losing out massively due to distractions within the workplace. Managers and business owners are starting to embrace using tech to re-energise and keep their staff on track. Here we take a look at how businesses can potentially benefit from using a state of the art Jabra Evolve headset.

The Jabra Evolve series are cutting edge headsets designed for business use. Their design centres around productivity and as such include comfort and sound quality making it a stand out product. We are going to try and focus mainly on the Jabra Evolve 80 for the purposes of this article. But most points stand for the entire Evolve range.

The Cost Of Distractions At Work

Managers and company owners of intelligence based companies, IE: A creative agency, need to embrace the fact that tech can help productivity massively.

  • £250 million is the cost of distractions for UK business (Curve report, Samsung)
  • It takes the average worker 23 minutes to refocus on a task after being interrupted at work
  • 50% of interruptions are “non-self interruptions”
  • Work interruptions can cost your staff up to 28% of their working day
  • Desk distractions make up around 70 days a year
  • Brits get on average of 22 minutes of totally uninterrupted time per concentration session

Most common distractions & interruptions in a UK office environment

According to data released by Samsung in April 2015, the top 7 office distractions are:

  • Loud Talkers – 57%
  • The Phone Ringing 39%
  • Meetings 26%
  • Emails 22%
  • Making Tea Rounds 18%
  • Office Gossips 16%
  • People Typing Loudly 12%

I wouldn’t suggest that anybody reduces the time taken to make tea rounds (productivity would plummet, and this article would never get finished) but between loud talkers, office gossip and people typing loudly, that accounts for a staggering 85% of office distractions.

Let’s keep it realistic and take gossip away as well since I want to talk about the benefits of a headset, not dictate how to run an office. That being said: This still leaves a massive 69% of distractions which could be directly influenced with an intelligent headset choice.

This is no surprise though, as a survey recently conducted by Jabra found 69% of knowledge workers claim that noise has a negative impact on their performance in the workplace. In the last decade the number of knowledge workers has doubled whilst the space each worker uses has more than halved, from 50m2 to just 20m2.

Here’s why I personally recommend the Jabra Evolve and potential savings of introducing high end Jabra Evolve headsets in the workplace:

It improves productivity. As the Digital Manager here at PMC Telecom I am challenged to keep our team focused, motivated and on track. The Evolve 80 was recommended to me by one of the team here, and I love it so much that I had to write a post about it.

I’m also very picky. I wear glasses, and headset manufacturers don’t seem to take this into account. I have an extremely expensive gaming headset at home, it puts way too much pressure on the arms of my glasses and is just uncomfortable. The Jabra Evolve range doesn’t seem to have this issue at all.

The Jabra Evolve range has a fantastic set of features too. They really did think of pretty much everything.

The Jabra Evolve

Boom Mic: A superbly designed mic. It’s not winning any fashion awards this year, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to – provides extremely high quality audio to the person you are talking to with absolute minimum background noise. The noise cancelling technology is some of the best in-class noise cancelling we have ever seen. Bonus: The mic tucks into the headband, allowing you to easily tuck it in for listening to music while you work, or to pop around your neck without the mic getting in your way.

jabra headset for office

Wireless/NFC: The advertised range from Jabra is definitely up to standard, with the Jabra 65 being advertised at 30 metres. As far as I can tell, this seems to be true. When testing I tried taking a call from my desk in the office, to somewhere around 30 metres away in the warehouse. Can’t really say more than “it works”

But a more unique feature that the Jabra Evolve 40 and 80 have exclusively is “Jabra Intelligent Call Transfer” – this is awesome. It’s exclusive to the 40 and 80 range, but honestly I have no idea how I would go back to using a headset without it. How does it work? You simply unplug your Jabra 40/80 from your inline USB call controller (it’s easy to whip out) and plug it into…anything else (within reason) – and voila! The call is instantly transferred.

Jabra are taking user experience to the next level with this headset. I personally frequently find myself in need of standing up from my desk during a call and going somewhere else. I transfer the call to my smartphone for this – it works great.

Passive Noise Cancellation: – The Jabra Evolve has some seriously good noise cancelling technology across the range. You are able to use a button on the side of the headset to switch on/off passive noise cancellation. This means you can easily tap a button to listen in on co-workers if required, without the need to keep taking your headset on and off.

Busy Lights: – When used correctly, you can use this headset to effectively communicate with your colleagues without being disturbed. To use you simply tap a button on the side of the headset, and a soft red glow appears on the side of the headset. This notifies colleagues if you are in the “zone”.

Jabra Intelligent Call Transfer: – This feature is available on the 40 and 80 models, in combination with the Skype for Business. This will allow users to keep the headset on, and keep the conversation flowing while seamlessly switching devices. On your softphone and want to transfer to your mobile? No problem.

The Jabra Evolve series is a seriously high quality headset, with some of the best features we have seen. With the best noise cancelling we have experienced and the implication for greater productivity we can safely say this is one of our favourite headsets right now.

If you would like to compare other products, check out our entire range of office headsets

The BT Expansion Continues

BT, the largest telecoms company in the United Kingdom, is continuing its expansion with the roll-out of new pay monthly mobile services.

bt

The service will offer customers smartphones from Apple, Samsung and other leading mobile phone brands. This may seem confusing to some since BT recently purchased the mobile phone network EE for £12.5bn. However, BT is simply expanding its already ironclad stronghold on the British telecommunications market by offering these pay monthly tariffs for a little as £20 a month.

This new launch may anger those who are already concerned that BT hold a monopoly on the UK telecoms market with 121 Members of Parliament criticising the amount of taxpayer money spent ensuring that BT remains on top. Back in February there were calls for BT to be forced to split from Openreach to allow other networks to provide cheaper and more competitive services for their customers. Sky accused BT of underinvestment in fibre optic broadband leaving their competitors unable to provide adequate services reliant on BT’s network of cables. Some even went as far as describing BT’s reign as a “digital apartheid”. Ofcom, the independent regulator, reviewed the situation and decided, much to the disappointment of Sky, TalkTalk and other service providers, that BT could remain with Openreach.

Since then, BT have released these pay monthly contracts alongside their SIM-only offers which start from £5 a month. Since pay monthly contracts are continuing to rise, and discounts offered to existing customers, this move may turn out to be very successful for BT as they retain their current customers and entice new ones to join.

BT added that the next stage in this expansion of its mobile network would be pushed by a, “nationwide advertising campaign on television, radio, billboards and social media”. It’s clear that a lot of money is being pumped into this new mobile network contract service in the hope that BT can keep up with its rivals such as 02 and Vodafone who already dominate the mobile market.

Some are left wondering what this new service will mean for the EE brand with suggestions that it will simply fall away under the BT Group umbrella. What’s certain is that BT is now no longer the main player in just traditional telecoms; with the power behind the BT brand they’re expanding into the field of mobile at full force.

PMC Telecom hit the B2B Marketing Expo at ExCeL London

B2B

The marketing team at PMC Telecom recently travelled to London for the B2B Marketing Expo at ExCeL to learn about the new and exciting marketing tools available for the digital era. Here’s a list of our favourite finds from the two-day event.

Most helpful marketing tools

With the digital marketing field ever growing, it is important to keep on top of the tools available for marketers. Here are some of our top picks from the expo:

Response Source – packaged as a ‘media relations tool for PRs and marketers’ this service is one of the best in the business for content and communication. Response source offer 3 main services:

  1. Media Contacts Database – a UK media database giving you access to relevant media, journalist and PR contacts.
  2. Journalistic Enquiry Service – this is a service that we’ve used for a number of months and have benefitted hugely from. The service allows journalists from specific fields of interest to contact you via email for expert commentary or opinion. Used by hundreds of journalists, bloggers and broadcasters each week it is undoubtedly a helpful tool for any digital marketer.
  3. Press Release Wire – Almost the reverse of the Journalistic Enquiry service, the Press Release Wire allows you to send your news and press releases directly to journalists, influencers and stakeholders.

ON24 Webinars – webinars are fast becoming one of the primary methods of connecting to customers, partners and employees. ON24 is the leading webinar marketing platform for demand generation, lead qualification and customer engagement. As buyers increasingly self-educate, webinars are being used to nurture prospective customers through each stage of the purchasing journey. ON24 offer a report on webinars with information ranging from the best days for webinar attendance to the average attendee rate and viewing time. The report also offers tips on audience engagement, interactivity and on demand viewing.

Trustpilot – another tool we’ve been using for some time. Trustpilot is a review site which allows customers to transparently review and rate a service or product. Having some sort of review system is vital to gain credibility among potential customers and boost your business ahead of the competition.

Inbox Insight – B2B lead generation and content marketing experts. In a nutshell they help marketing and sales teams generate new leads and business opportunities. Inbox Insight publish specialist, highly targeted content-driven email bulletins that offer access to key EMEA markets as well as weekly emails with guides, ebooks and reports. Businesses that require a push forward can work with Inbox Insight to decide lead generation criteria, select the content, promote it and consequently receive new leads. With clients such as Google, HP, IBM and American Express it’s not surprising that over 1 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa have subscribed to the service.

insightBee – with ‘lack of leads’ ranked the number one sales challenge of a business it’s unsurprising that insights had a strong presence at the B2B Marketing Expo. insightBee deliver qualified leads to help businesses close deals quickly through eliminating clutter and elevating discussion with clients to gain a step on the competition. They offer a continual flow of trigger-based and qualified sales leads, targeted to your specific sales objectives. Through their cloud-based custom analyses and advanced algorithms they scope opportunities faster which allows more preparation time and greater efficiency.

Best creative agencies

When it comes to marketing, a sleek design and creative ideas are vital. Here are the best agencies we came across at the expo:

Breathe Creative – according to Breathe Creative the secret to success in business growth is focused creativity. Breathe Creative pride themselves on client success through understanding the audience, creativity and attention to detail. Breathe Creative offer the highest quality London-standard services ‘without the eye watering London prices’.

indigoRiver – a bold design agency that specialise in strategy and planning, design and print, advertising, web design and social media marketing among others. With services that include website building, 3D modelling, app design and building, brochures and exhibitions indigoRiver appear to be a company that does it all; and to a high standard. If you’re looking for a bold campaign then this could be the agency for you.

Best seminar

evosite – evosite offer a complete web solution for your business with services ranging from client strategy to web development. For over 15 years, the company has provided clients with the insights needed to stay ahead of the game. At the B2B Marketing Expo, evosite led a seminar to help businesses boost their online conversion rates. The seminar, led by Senior UX Architect Paul Randall, taught businesses how to analyse their data to create helpful insights about their website’s visitors. Through these insights it is then possible to change the aspects of your site that customers struggle with and create a more user friendly site in order to increase your conversion rates and keep your customers happy. Well, that’s a very simplified version of the seminar – the real thing was far more detailed and incredibly helpful. If you don’t believe me you can have a look at the masterclass yourself on their blog.

And the cool stuff…

Two stands in particular caught our attention from far away for all the right reasons:

Surface2Air – if you tell me that seeing a camera drone in real life wouldn’t excite you then you’re lying. Though possibly not relevant for a B2B telecoms company such as ourselves, I’m sure we weren’t the only marketing team trying to come up with reasons to utilise the drones for their campaigns! Surface2Air specialise in aerial video and photography with full video production and editing.

Radioville – the aesthetic of the Radioville stand was what initially drew us in. One quick visit to their website will confirm that they have nailed their design and concept. Radioville write, produce, cast, direct and record radio adverts for some of the UK’s biggest advertisers.

radioville

Well there you have it, our complete round up of the B2B Marketing Expo. We had a great time and look forward to the next one!

This Is How Hosted VoIP Is Improving Small Businesses

voip

Increasing productivity through communication is vital in growing and sustaining any small or medium sized business; be it communication between staff or communication with customers. At the forefront of communication technology is the cloud and subsequent products such as phone systems that run completely through the cloud mitigating traditional phone wires and network providers. This technology is referred to as Hosted VoIP; VoIP standing for ‘voice over internet’.

With installation and maintenance costs far cheaper than the traditional alternative, Hosted VoIP could help save your business money from the offset. On top of that, VoIP to VoIP calls are completely free no matter where you are calling. Using the same technology as Skype and FaceTime, charges do not apply when calling VoIP to VoIP since communication relies solely on the internet. (See Hosted VoIP packages here)

Instead of calls going straight to one phone line, VoIP calls can be answered using any smart device including laptops, smartphones and tablets meaning that staff have the flexibility to work from any location. With features such as call forwarding, intelligent call routing and voicemail to email staff are available and contactable 24/7.

Tutora, a small startup matching private tutors with students, benefitted hugely from switching to Hosted VoIP. The business was started in early 2015 and has grown at a rapid pace having just completed an equity crowdfunding campaign to raise £150,000. Originally, Tutora relied on traditional landline systems for communication with parents and tutors but found Hosted VoIP to not only be cheaper but more flexible.

“That’s the primary benefit for us, the ability to not be confined to a fixed location and not have mobile numbers as the main point of contact. Having switched office location several times, the ability to keep the same number has made that possible. We also work remotely for a great deal of the time so using the call forwarding feature of our VoIP system means we’re contactable from any location”

– Mark, Co-Founder of Tutora.

Online search and discovery platform, BAACCO.com, have also improved their business by switching to Hosted VoIP. BAACCO.com provides a platform for consumers to search for and purchase a huge selection of wines across hundreds of merchants. Switching to a Hosted VoIP service allowed them to communicate directly with their clients and understand their needs in a more efficient way.

“Initially we were handling all our customer services through onsite chat tools or via email however we found that the level of engagement we needed to provide to our customers meant that we needed a more intimate approach. As such we switched to a Hosted VoIP solution for business and have not looked back since. We receive daily stock, product and delivery enquiries through our VoIP phone. There isn’t a requirement to be sat by a computer or telephone, your calls are routed to your mobile so you can answer customer service calls even whilst you’re away from your devices. It provides an additional element of credibility so that our customers can be confident in our service. The switch over was very simple, we set up the technology and added the necessary details all in under 30 minutes”

– Tai Alegbe, Co-Founder of BAACCO.com

The rewards of switching to Hosted VoIP are not only plenty but can be reaped by any business in any line of work. Contact us if you would like more information regarding Hosted VoIP technology.

PMC Telecom Buy Old And Used Telephone Systems

At PMC Telecom we buyback a wide range of old and used telecoms equipment including:

  • Office headsets
  • Conference units
  • System handsets

From leading brands such as Sennheiser, Jabra, Polycom. Konftel, Avaya, Nortel, Mitel, Siemens, Samsung and Plantronics. Contact us today to take your old or used telecoms equipment and convert it into cash or credit.

Simply fill out the form below and we’ll contact you.

It’s Easy – Get In Touch

1) Send us your Telecoms equipment
2) We send you a quote for purchasing it from you
3) You either accept or decline. If you accept you will get paid within 5 working days, if you decline we’ll send the equipment back to you free of charge

If you have old or used office headsets, system handsets and conference units we will buy them off you in almost any condition. Simply contact us:

Conference Phone Buybacks

Headset Buybacks

System Handset Buybacks

Upgrading your telecoms system is often pivotal in growing and expanding your business to ensure that you are delivering the very best for your customers. Though upgrades are a necessity it can be both wasteful and costly to discard your entire old phone system which is why we offer a buyback service in which you can trade in your old phone systems for cash.

Why should you sell to us?

We dispose of your old electrical items in accordance with the EU WEEE regulations by which all companies are legally obliged to dispose of electronic equipment safely. Our buyback service is competitive and guarantees to put your mind at rest with the correct, safe and legal disposal of your old items.

For more information about selling your old phone systems click here: https://www.pmctelecom.co.uk/repairs-and-buybacks 

Your Name (required)

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Your Message

“PMC Telecom gave us great prices for a selection of our out-dated Telecoms equipment that we were originally going to dispose of instead, we got a nice contribution to our Christmas party – Thanks PMC Telecom”One Sure Insurance

Why The ‘Hybrid Cloud’ May Be The Perfect Solution For Your Business

HYBRID

 

With over 95% of businesses now using a cloud based strategy it’s clear that if you are part of the 5% then you’re drastically behind the times. However, many bosses are still reluctant to move their entire system off their premises and into the cloud which is where the hybrid cloud comes in as the perfect compromise.

What is the hybrid cloud?

As the name suggests, the hybrid cloud is a combination of keeping an existing in-house data strategy whilst also utilising off site and third party servers to store and share data in either a public or private cloud. The hybrid cloud offers small, medium and large businesses alike the best of both worlds with the ability to hold data in the cloud whilst maintaining control over it.

The often debated security issue of ‘private versus public cloud’ becomes irrelevant with the utilisation of a hybrid cloud option. With the hybrid cloud businesses benefit from the flexibility of the cloud whilst at the same time gaining from faster in-house broadband speeds and onsite IT security.

Using off site cloud servers gives businesses more flexibility as their data needs and budgets change along with the service. For example, a clothing website may need more from their server during the holiday season or on specific days such as Black Friday therefore using the hybrid cloud gives them a more flexible and cost efficient option.

According to a recent study by IDG Research 24% of executives have reduced their IT costs as a direct result of the hybrid cloud. 83% of IT leaders either use a form of the hybrid cloud or plan to do so in the future.

The most vital aspect of a successful hybrid system is the option of single dashboards to operate both the on and off site servers simultaneously giving the business full control of all their data. The hybrid option has gained enormous popularity as the middleman between traditional in house data storage and all-in off site cloud systems. With increasing productivity and security the two biggest goals of companies the hybrid cloud seems to be the answer to their prayers with the technology of the cloud and the security of in-house systems.

As is the case with every other cloud variation the top providers are Microsoft, Amazon and Google who, combined, dominate 66% of the hybrid cloud market.

“Some of our customers are still somewhat reluctant to embrace a cloud based phone option however we believe that the move to the cloud is a beneficial one with the hybrid serving as a fantastic middle ground” – Steven Mills, PMC Telecom.

Since the move to the cloud the majority of businesses have benefited hugely from the jump in technological advances. However, with change comes reservation with 70% of the IT organisations surveyed saying that they will keep a combination of their traditional IT systems and public cloud solutions for the foreseeable future.

Facebook To Revolutionise Telecoms With 5G Network

TIP

Facebook have teamed up with telecoms giants Intel, Nokia, EE, Nexius and plenty more to bring a faster and more connected network to users around the world in the form of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

Based on The Open Compute Project, a Facebook model used previously for its data centre, the team of telecoms heavyweights want to create an open source platform designed to bring 5G to all with telecommunication utilising cloud technology.

“Every day, more people and devices around the world are coming online, and it’s becoming easier to share data-intensive experiences like video and virtual reality” – Jay Parikh, Facebook’s global head of engineering.

This new network, using cloud technology, comes at a time where telecoms providers are under pressure to provide a more high quality service for paying customers. When the majority of users can send data for free using cloud based services such as WhatsApp or Messenger (both owned by Facebook) why would they opt to pay their phone network per SMS they send?

Traditional telecoms networks are complex and often combine a collection of equipment that is difficult to transfer over to the cloud in order to upgrade to a more flexible and effective service. Facebook plans for their TIP network to be simple from the offset with software co-created by Intel, SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and other companies at the top of the food chain. The network, once in full swing, will lower costs not only via software but because of the new hardware replacing the current expensive equipment with more cost effective and efficient models.

“We believe that the exponential growth of internet traffic requires new approaches, also on networking equipment like routers and switches. The Open Compute Project has proven that open specifications for hardware, combined with an active community, can have a drastic impact on efficiency and cost – TIP will trigger the same for all areas of the network ” – Axel Clauberg, Deutsche Telekom.

As the UK is still reeling over Ofcom’s decision to leave BT in charge of Openreach, Facebook are additionally planning to work with EE to pilot 4G coverage as a solution to the slow broadband experienced by rural areas.

The TIP network will be completely open source meaning that any wireless network carrier will be able to utilise it; this alone will help to vastly improve the global wireless network that most of us use in our daily lives. The first pilot version of TIP has officially launched in the Philippines with more tests to be carried out throughout this year.

This entirely new network has the potential to change the face of global telecommunications however it will require a lot of work from the already established brands if they wish to jump on the bandwagon. Facebook already heavily dominate the new wave of cloud based communication and with so many companies already on board (Nokia, EE etc) it may be time for the other telecommunications companies to start thinking about the future too.

BT not forced to split as the north still suffers from slow speeds.

internetspeed

We recently posted about the broadband speeds in the UK and whether or not BT was doing enough to increase speeds for all. Now, according to data by City Metric, the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ still has some of the slowest internet speeds in the country with Sheffield only reaching speeds of 15.4Mbps compared with 20.4Mbps in London.

“‘Northern Powerhouse’ still has some of the slowest internet speeds in the country”.

Cities in the middle and south of the county mostly run on fibre optic cables, as opposed to phone cables, meaning superfast broadband for Southerners. Major northern cities aside, the issue is that the quality of broadband provided isn’t as high in the northern areas of the country compared to the Midlands and the south. Known as the ‘last mile’ the networks provided by BT are strongest in the south and become weaker towards the north where rival companies such as TalkTalk, Vodafone and Sky pay to use the network. The dip in quality is due to the fact that BT invest in places that will make them the most money; our capital being the obvious place to start.

Ofcom’s long awaited review

As Ofcom’s review of BT is released, Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive of Sky, criticised BT for not investing enough money in fibre optic broadband. Darroch explained to The Times that because BT owns Openreach, the one national broadband network in the UK, it has the ability to determine how fast it will be. Because BT faces such small competition it can choose to invest, or not, in whatever it wishes with little risk on their profits, “safe in the knowledge that it will keep its captive customers”.

Sky, along with a number of other big names, have been backing calls for BT to separate from Openreach in the past few months in order to widen the market and help deliver speeds of 1Gbps that the UK requires in order to keep up with the rest of the world.

“Underinvestment by BT leaves their competitors unable to provide adequate services”

BT claims to be the only telecoms provider with the ability to manage the vast network efficiently and suggested that Sky and TalkTalk ought to be thankful for the service it provides to them instead of complaining that they’re receiving BT’s ‘sloppy seconds’. BT’s competitors, however, insist that Openreach provides poor service due to underinvestment by BT leaving them with less chance to provide a fast service and make a profit.

2H

Ofcom have now officially reviewed the current monopoly BT has on the UK’s broadband network and decided that, much to the disappointment of Sky and TalkTalk, BT isn’t required to split from Openreach. However, due to BT’s refusal to invest in a fibre optic network, Ofcom wants Openreach to open up its telegraph poles and tunnels allowing competitors to upgrade the network themselves. Though it seems that BT have been dealt with too lightly, they may still be forced to split from Openreach in the future if they fail to create a more independent and fair network for its competitors. Sharon White, Chief Executive of Ofcom, explained that these new proposals would lead to a “fundamental reform” of the entire telecoms market.

Undoubtedly, everyone other than BT will be disappointed with Ofcom’s decision. Tim Farron, Lib Dem leader, said that Ofcom had “bottled it” and missed an opportunity to separate Openreach from BT and create a fairer market. After months of protests by its rivals, BT have too campaigned for the continued ownership of Openreach by promising £1bn of extra investment in superfast broadband.

Ofcom are a powerful independent organisation but their recommendations are exactly that: recommendations. Though their reviews and suggestions come heavily weighted with power they carry no legal requirement. So though it may seem that they have missed a huge opportunity, and they may well have, it does not mean that BT would have actually split from Openreach had that been the suggestion by Ofcom. BT’s PR manager already has plenty to deal with, so perhaps they would have indeed done the right thing, though they wouldn’t have been legally obliged to.

For now the monopoly remains however BT and Openreach will be under more scrutiny than ever in their supposed provision of superfast broadband for all.

Do you think that BT would have split from Openreach had Ofcom had suggested it in its review?