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With mobile data usage set to increase heavily over the next few years, forecasts show UK users could end up consuming a staggering 18GB of data a month. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will need to provide this, as consumers and businesses (not to mention technologies like smart city devices) increasingly rely on high-speed access.

MNOs also need to continue preparing for the advent of 5G, with a number of 5G-compatible devices arriving throughout 2019. As it stands, EE currently has the most spectrum overall, following the 5G spectrum auction in April 2019. But with an additional 116 Mhz of spectrum set to be auctioned off in late 2019 – including spectrum in even higher bandwidths – this could change, with all four major networks keen to establish themselves as 5G leaders.

Of course, the rollout of 5G will also rest heavily on a robust level of investment into infrastructure – and with European tech giants worried that this isn’t happening, 2019 will likely see MNOs and telecoms companies calling for further vital investment. We have good articles on this subject as always.

Smart cities, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) – these technologies will revolutionise the way we live. Heavily dependent on 5G networks to work effectively, and therefore the deployments we expect to see develop throughout 2019, we expect to see momentum around these technologies develop as cities have their 5G capabilities switched on. To function successfully, smart cities and IoT devices will rely on a proliferation of high-bandwidth, low latency connections. Meaning, whatever method this ends up being delivered through, the telecoms industry will be called upon to provide this. So, 2019 should see a great deal of investment and innovation in this area. The problem with these deployments is that though 5G trials have proven technologically successful there are other impacts which need to be investigated.

Blockchain, the public online ledger, is a technology with exciting prospects in the next couple of years. Blockchain’s uses have developed beyond the world of cryptocurrencies, and it’s now being hailed as a technology that can help data-holding companies improve efficiency and security. Blockchain can streamline processes like customer switching and settlement, saving valuable admin time and help reduce their costs. Although in principal blockchain can address a series of issues, the realities of the technology are yet to be proven. 2019 could however see some interesting inroads in how the technology can be utilised with water companies already investigating how blockchain can help with physical commodities and, ultimately, aid the creation of smart cities.

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