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What technology trends can we expect in 2015?
AirSpeed Telecom’s Technical Director Peter Hendrick outlines the technology trends he expects to become mainstream in 2015.

We’re at a time where connectivity is a given; people increasingly expect high-speed, reliable connectivity wherever they are. This ubiquitous connectivity is a key enabler of new technologies, and is a critical factor in driving technological trends - from enterprise apps and the Internet of Things to Wi-Fi analytics and contactless mobile payments - and making them more viable to the enterprise market.

Apps revolution gathers pace

Apps and NFC come together in Swissprime Technologies My Lock
Apps and NFC come together in Swissprime Technologies My Lock
The application revolution, where applications sourced from different developers and channels are deployed on a range of devices, will pick up pace in 2015 and will play a greater role in the enterprise market. This change brings a clear opportunity for telecoms service providers who I expect will roll out app stores to their business customers, providing access to apps - from security and storage to video and unified communications - via a web browser. As bandwidth increases, businesses no longer need servers and hardware in their building, they just need an internet connection, and all of these business applications can be delivered on demand via the cloud.

Connected world delivers massive amounts of data

In 2015 one billion wireless Internet of Things devices will be shipped worldwide, up 60 percent from 2014. Modern wireless technology, whether mobile or Wi-Fi, allows consumers with smartphones to perform multiple tasks remotely: from controlling household appliances to home security, climate control and lighting. The Wi-Fi network will become a key commodity, enabling enterprises to gather massive amounts of data about their customers. Armed with this intelligence, enterprises will be able to more accurately predict sales trends, become more targeted with their sales strategies, enhance product development and engage with their customers more effectively.

Contactless payments for mainstream adoption

This will be the year that contactless mobile payments become mainstream. From a technology perspective, everything is in place; new devices all feature NFC (Near Field Communication) with radio technology being embedded into the chips in smartphones. It’s been more difficult to convince banks, consumers and retailers to sign up, but the benefits have become clearer: NFC has become more financially viable for banks; retailers don’t need phone lines, and the speed of payment is quicker; and consumers don’t need their wallet or credit card, just their smartphone. With biometric access on smartphones becoming more commonplace, security is also less of an issue. With many hurdles out of the way, I expect contactless payments to happen a lot quicker now, driven by consumer devices.

Moving towards the re-enterprisation of IT

Ultimately, we’re moving towards the re-enterprisation of IT. An article by Deloitte successfully highlights this trend: up until 10 years ago new technologies were adopted first by the enterprise market, but from the early 2000s technologies like smartphones and tablet PCs went mainstream in the consumer market first with many enterprises reluctant to embrace these developments.  But that looks like it’s about to change again; Deloitte expects 2015 to be the year IT becomes re-enterprised, with the enterprise market poised to move first on new technologies like wearable tech, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.

What does this future hold for AirSpeed Telecom?

For us at AirSpeed, all of these developments, including the roll out of 4G, which will facilitate the move to applications, speeding up the need for robust connectivity at enterprise premises, will be real enablers to our business. As more services are delivered via mobile, enterprise demand for high availability and connectivity will rise. Redundancy, resilience and always-on connectivity will become paramount, and that’s where we’re continuing to invest, as well as in security and unified communications. Wrapped around all of this is our Service Level Agreement, which facilitates our business customers’ move towards the cloud, apps, Internet of Things and contactless payments.

Realistically, bandwidth speeds are no longer a differentiator; what matters are the SLAs and the services an operator offers, including applications, and that’s what we’re focused on.

Peter Hendrick is the technical director of AirSpeed Telecom.  Since he joined AirSpeed in 2006 Peter has led the development of the company’s network into a world class communications network.

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