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Is your business well connected?

It is clear that as the world tries to continue trading albeit in only small proportions compared to BC (Before Covid-19) businesses large and small will need to adopt new ways of working.

There could be many months of continued social distancing meaning office based businesses and retail need to consider how they will prosper under the new world order, just around the corner.

So, how are we going to do business?

By being connected.

We are going to use technology to keep our livelihoods, businesses, customers and staff safe.

What sort of connection do you have?

Let’s look at the options:

  • Broadband versus 4g/5g

Broadband v 4g / 5g

We all want fast broadband, but if the shift to online occurs that is expected then our infrastructure is going to be tested – extremely tested. The big players will need to stop dominating the market. After all every single internet connection uses BT infrastructure at some point. That can’t be right.

There is an alternative to fixed broadband to your home or office. I don’t use broadband at home and haven’t for the past 10 years.

EE, O2, Vodafone and Three are the major players in mobile data, each either using each others or their own masts and origination technology to send data around the high speed microwave bands that allow me to type this in a areas that has a dismal copper cable traditional broadband speed offering of 1.2mb – yes 1.2mb you read that correctly. Pathetic.

With my EE connection to my iPhone I share my contracted 200gb monthly allowance with my laptop, my iPad and of course the phone itself. I don’t have broadband and I don’t need it. Neither do you, if you have a good 4g signal in your area. You can even get unlimited data contracts with EE at the moment. Although I don’t think these will last long.

To check whether you do have good enough coverage to use your mobile as your internet connection go to https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage. You will see what networks can provide good signal. Be sure to click on the “indoors’ link rather than outdoors. Unless you want to use your pc in the garden!

Ofcom mobile coverage test

There is 5g either near you or coming fairly soon. It is already in our major cities and EE is the leader so far in this race. And despite whether you think it’s connected to the Covid-19 outbreak or not its speed will be transformational if it is used in the right way. Fast speed is like a fast train, it needs to be used to be effective. But speed isn’t everything.

Personally I wouldn’t opt for 5g just yet. It is too new, rare to find and, in my opinion relatively untested. 4g is quite sufficient for most people’s needs and covers most rural areas now.

Finally on mobile internet. Most of my connections have a fixed broadband connection to their homes. Their download speeds range from 15 mb to 60mb for the most expensive cable solutions. My Internet speed is – as I type this – download; 25.3 Mbps, and upload; 14.5 Mbps. My upload speed is consistently faster than most fixed broadband connections that I run from our office in Bridgnorth.

There are some latency issues (potential data loss and delay) sometimes but if you don’t need a fast and ‘always on’ mission critical connection then 4g is more than enough for most applications.

I say, get yourself ready to use 4g as your broadband connection. Particularly if your broadband speed or quality is poor.

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