VoLTE, 5G, and XaaS – The Rise of Connectivity
The changing nature of connected devices
In a digitally diverse world, where consumers and brands expect to be able to communicate with each other through a host of mediums in a matter of seconds, the demand for greater connectivity solutions has grown more significant than ever.
Not only are companies like BT’s Openreach promising the UK that they’ll have made 10 million fibre-to-the-premises links by 2020, but we’re also actively exploring other connectivity solutions that go beyond the cable too. After all, fast-paced connections are no longer something that’s simply “nice to have”, they’re a crucial component of work and personal life. For many in today’s generation, a solid connection is a utility just as important as gas, electricity, or water.
So, what exactly can you expect from the future of this space?
VoLTE Makes VoIP and Video a Reality for Mobile Users
You’ve heard of 4G, and you’ve heard of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), but what about Voice over Long Term Evolution (LTE)? VoLTE has been hailed as a new era in business communications, providing higher quality voice calls, a greater opportunity to use voice and video applications in the enterprise, and more cost efficiency for those who want to bring their mobile technology into the business world. In 2017, people were spending more than 4 hours on their smartphone devices every day. As we move ahead through 2018, there’s a good chance that this will lead to a revolution in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, pushing more experts to bring their mobiles with them to work. Previous networks like 2G and 3G simply weren’t strong enough to carry reliable VoIP services, but VoLTE opens a new way of working with LTE, which many are calling “broadband through the air.”
5G on the Horizon
Just as the opportunities around 4G become more compelling, we’re also beginning to see hints of the 5G revolution in the future too. We don’t know exactly how impressive 5G will be yet, or when it’s going to arrive in the industry, but it’s set to change the way we connect forever, prompting an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and true mobile working options. As the largest step forward that mobile connectivity has made in years, 5G could unlock the ultimate solution for remote workers, giving them the chance to connect from wherever they are, without compromising on quality or speed. Many professionals believe that although we don’t know the full details of 5G yet, we should expect that the basic advantages will be:
- Better speed: The best 4G networks today can deliver high-end speeds of 300Mbits/s, however, 5G could offer speeds more than 1Gb/s, with some estimates moving closer to 10Gb/s
- Latency: Current 4G response times measure in at somewhere around 50 milliseconds. They’re fast, but they don’t deliver a truly real-time experience – even with a strong signal. 5G, on the other hand, could deliver 1 millisecond end-to-end response times
- Capacity: Perhaps the key problem with 4G for business users is its limited capacity. There isn’t enough bandwidth available in current mobile frequencies to allow for a smooth experience for multiple users in a space. 5G could expand capacity, by opening a smarter usage spectrum
Exploring “Everything” As a Service (XaaS)
Finally, the flexibility and scalability of the Cloud, combined with new opportunities for bandwidth has opened the door to a Unified Communications revolution known as XaaS. 5G, Software Defined Networking (SDN), Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) are all responsible for paving the way to a future where anything can be offered as a service, no matter how complex it might seem.
We’ve already seen the rise of this format in various places already, with Contact Centre as a Service solution (CCaaS), Software as a Service, Platforms as a Service, and even Infrastructure as a Service. As more of these models continue to gain speed, it could be that we enter an era in which hardware officially takes a back seat, and software becomes the foundation for agile business development.
Is it time to plan your strategy for a new, more connected company?