Taking stock – the importance of connectivity


As the industry catches its breath after the annual flurry of activity around Mobile World Congress (MWC), it’s a good time to quickly reflect on some of the trends for the rest of 2017 that emerged from the event.

Cutting through the usual hullaballoo it was possible to identify three key themes: the accelerating evolution and commercial relevance of the internet of things (IoT); the emergence of extreme low latency as the key differentiator in 5G; and the growing importance of neutral host.

Of these themes, it is perhaps most encouraging to see genuine progress on IoT. There are still issues, especially where the technology and politics collide, but the balance of evidence from the show is that the transformation of IoT from interesting technology to commercial imperative is nearly complete.

5G was of course everywhere. However, latency was clearly emerging as one of the most important differentiators, if not the most. There were lots of 5G-related virtual and augmented reality demos on stands. What these demos highlighted was that the key to augmenting or virtually creating reality convincingly is to do it faster than the eye can follow. As such, it is clear that 4G networks can only go so far in ultra-time critical applications and that is likely to be a big area of focus for the future of 5G technology.

In terms of neutral host, we announced the evolution of our multi-operator, neutral host vision Viper2020 and a range of new products to support it.

There is a common thread that links all of these issues – connectivity, the essential underpinning everything. Whether it’s simply the coverage required for IoT that cannot be achieved from the existing macro network alone, or the innovative edge architecture required to offer millisecond latency, it’s all nothing without good quality connectivity.

With MWC behind us, ip.access are now looking forward to the upcoming Small Cells World Summit in London where on Monday 22nd May we shall be running an interactive workshop session, ‘Keeping your eyes on the middleprise: Exploring the Small Cell Multi-Operator Neutral Host Opportunity’, further exploring the world of Multi-Operator Small Cells as we endeavour in our mission to provide connectivity indoors and across remote areas.

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