Government pledged to spend £40m to enhance 5G in the UK

The government has announced it will be investing £40 million in 5G testbeds in a bid to enhance 5G in the UK. 5G is expected to dramatically out-do the performance of the current 3G and 4G networks. Capable of delivering extremely fast data with estimates between 10 – 50 Gbit/s compared with today’s average 4G download speed of 15 Mbit/s.

The use of a very high frequency spectrum, above 6 GHz, could support a variety of uses including financial trading, gaming and entertainment, holographic projections, and the potential to support very high demands users in busy areas such as city centres. O2 has demonstrated the innovative possibilities of 5G for UK businesses.  Watch the following video for insights into the development of intelligent transport systems, maintenance through augmented reality and the exploration of real-time robotics…

The government has allegedly exceeded its target to make 500MHz of public sector spectrum available for commercial use by 2020, in order to drive sectors such as healthcare, tourist, transport and broadcasting, all of which have been demonstrated to  benefit from the faster download speeds and lower latency offered by 5G.

“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. – Jeremy Wright, Digital Secretary

Further sectors outlined by the government for 5G use cases include the manufacturing processes of: roads, air, and sea based freight logistics. For further updates on 5G, head back to the CMM blog.

The small business guide to cloud computing

Cloud computing transforms traditional ways of thinking about IT resources, as computing services are delivered over the Internet or “the cloud”. This means your business can significantly reduce expenses by eliminating the costs associated with hardware, IT experts and the set up and running of on-site data centres. Crucially, your business can take advantage of built-in continuity features, ensuring your business will not be disrupted by unexpected events such as snow, floods, strikes or utility works. This ensures data backup and disaster recovery is in place, while business continuity is easier and less expensive as data can be mirrored at multiple sites on the cloud provider’s network.

Office 365 - The cost-effective, smart solution  to cloud computing

Take advantage of collaboration tools and ease of use

  • Office 365 gives you the ability to create your own ‘team site’, allowing you to share documents and information with colleagues and customers.
  • With your important documents online, you can make sure the latest versions are always at hand. 
  • Easily protect critical business information by controlling who can unlock, read and share documents and information. 
  • Go a step further and market your business with Office 365 -  create a simple public-facing website with a custom domain name. For example, www.davesdeliveries.com, giving you a professional online presence for customers and prospects to visit.
  • Office 365 Web Apps are companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that offer you an easy way to access, view, and edit docs directly from your web browser. Designed to provide you with a similar experience to the desktop Office applications, for complete ease of use.

Super smart email, calendar and contacts 

  • With Office 365, your email, calendar and contacts are automatically updated across the devices you use the most. Whether you’re on your PC, Smartphone or your Mac, you can ensure you stay in sync with the information you need. Unlucky enough for your Mac to crash? Grab those crucial prospect details from your smartphone. On a call? Check your diary on your PC while you converse, secure that meeting date, and know that your mobile will automatically catch up.
  • Scheduling a meeting is now easier than ever. You can ‘share’ calendars with colleagues. View calendars side by side, and compare availability as you go. You can make sure you work around each other, ensuring you have enough bodies back at base to man the phones, welcome customers, or let the delivery man in.
  • Create professional email addresses with your existing domain name, for example Tina@davesdeliveries.com, rather than an unpolished address such as Tina@hotmail.com. And gain added protection from spam and viruses with Microsoft Forefront Online Protection.

For more information on Office 365 please do not hesitate to get in touch, our friendly team are always more than happy to help.

Google unveils new flagships, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Google has released the new Pixel 3a and 3a XL available in Black, White and Purple-ish (Google's term!). The new devices offer an affordable price tag and carry the benefits of the latest Android operating system - Android 9 Pie, detailed below. The devices feature a scratch-resistant poly-carbonate shielding housing the Sony IMX 12MP camera, alongside Pixel Imprint - the fingerprint sensor that becomes faster and more accurate over time. Somewhat disappointingly, the new devices are not equipped with wireless charging, however, the cameras are widely considered the best in the market, offering a vast array of features.

The rear camera sports an f/1.8 aperture, 76-degree field of view, auto focus with dual phase detection, a spectral sensor to improve in colour accuracy, a flicker sensor to reduce banding in low light, and finally, optical image stabilisation. In order to take advantage, in-built features include Top Shot - that takes into account smiles, open eyes and more in order to utilise Al to pick the best frame.

The renowned HDR+ mode on the other hand, captures a series of photos at varying exposures and generates a composite image to ensure that details and highlights aren’t lost during post-processing. Perhaps most notably, Google Lens works in real time to detect objects and more 'in-frame', for instance, it can automatically extract phone numbers, dates, and addresses from business cards and add them to your contacts list.

pixel 3a

£

399.99

/ SIM free

  • 5.6" Full HD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • 18W USB-C PD fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 3.5mm audio jack

Google’s latest version of Android 9.0 or ‘Pie’ is currently available on the latest Google Pixel smartphones inclusive of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. From minor changes such as moving the time to the top left of the status bar to larger improvements in battery life, Android Pie brings a variety of improvements.

Key new features

Gesture navigation

The home button now takes a pill-shape and moves in the same space as the traditional on-screen buttons. Tap it to go home, flick it up to see recently used apps, swipe upwards twice or pull it up further to get to the app drawer, or hold down to activate Google Assistant. You can also drag it to the right to switch to the last app (similar to the double tap of the overview button) or drag and hold to cycle through recently used apps. The back button still appears when needed, but the overview button has gone. The gestures are not activated by default for now, which means to try them out head to Settings > System > Gestures and toggle the “Swipe up on Home button” option.

Adaptive Battery and Brightness

Adaptive Battery learns your usage patterns and directs the power to only the apps you need at the time you need them for more predictable day-to-day battery life. Using the new battery feature, user’s on the beta programme found an increase in battery life in the region of 20%.

Smart replies

Smart replies will now be incorporated in more apps than Gmail and Smart Reply, allowing you to easily send one-button replies.

App actions

App actions works to predict not only the app that you want at any particular moment, but an action from within that app too. For example, if you regularly check the weather in the morning, weather will appear when you wake as a suggestion for one-tap access.

Privacy

Apps you have given permission to access your location, microphone, camera and network status will no longer be able to access them when idle in the background. This means it will be harder for rogue apps to spy without your knowledge and consequently better protect your privacy.

For more information on the Pixel 3a and 3a XL please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager via email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352.  We are always more than happy to help!

Say goodbye to rural ‘non spots’ as Networks near a deal to provide improved coverage in the countryside

EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 are progressively nearing a deal to work together in order to overcome the 'non-spots' across the UK countryside, that largely exclude those occupying rural areas from the speeds available for those in urban towns and cities. The network giants are currently discussing sharing infrastructures so that the coverage of rural 'non-spots' will be better distributed. 

“We know that access to a fast and reliable mobile network is important to how we live, work and travel. This is as true for those in remote areas as it is for those in our towns and cities. That is why our proposal on a shared rural mobile network is so crucial. It will give consumers improved rural mobile coverage while using far fewer masts…” – Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO

The news largely follows the findings of the industry watchdog, 'Ofcom', that revealed it is not possible to make a voice call on all four networks in more than a fifth of the country. The move will largely benefit consumers and businesses operating in these areas and offer networks a powerful opportunity to strengthen the UK economy. 

When should I upgrade to a 5G device?

Back in 2013 Samsung tested 5G at 1Gbps and journalists reported that a HD movie could be downloaded in less than 30 seconds. Fast track to 2014 and Samsung set a mobile speed record of 7.5Gb/s in another 5G trail, while estimates predict the speed will reach 10Gb/s, with transfer rates as high as 800Gb/s further down the line, taking your download time of a full length film to around a second!

The super-fast speeds offered by the 5G network have been awaited by many, but will only be accessible to those with a 5G enabled device.

Those who take the plunge will be able to take advantage of minimal latency (i.e. delay time), an improved user experience and access to new technologies, but just how soon should you upgrade?

Five Bulb Lights

So far, Samsung has unveiled the all-new Samsung Galaxy S10 (5G) providing you with a super-fast variant of it's predecessor, alongside various improvements from a larger display, to a higher-quality camera and of course, 5G capability.

Huawei on the other hand, has revealed the Huawei Mate X - an innovative 5G enabled fold-able smartphone with seriously impressive specs and a hefty price tag to match, while the Oppo Reno 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, Moto Z3 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 offer more 5G enabled options. For iOS fans, however, Apple isn't likely to release the 5G-enabled iPhone until late September.

Left to right: Samsung Galaxy S10 (5G), Huawei Mate X, Oppo Reno 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, Moto Z3 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

Beyond selecting a device, it's worth noting that the roll out of 5G will be a gradual process, meaning not all geographical areas will be covered in the UK until 2020 - at least. EE networks will support 5G in Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, London, Edinburgh and Manchester as of the 30th May, with Bristol, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol to follow throughout 2019.

Woman watching video on tablet on deck chair

Vodafone on the other hand, has focused on rural and urban areas including Cornwall and the Lake district as the two of the first locations to get 5G, with sites live on the 3rd of July in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. Later this year, Vodafone will launch 5G in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, Wolverhampton and Newbury. 

Image result for vodafone 5g

O2 similarly will begin the rollout of its 5G network this year in the four corners of the UK. Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London will be the first to benefit from O2’s 5G network. Other areas of the UK will enjoy roll-out from 2020 to coincide with the wider availability of 5G handsets. 

In light of the progressing release, CMM highly recommend you delay upgrading to a 5G device until 2020 in order to truly take advantage of the benefits. For advice on 5G handsets please do not hesitate to contact your account manager, we are always more than happy to help! 

Business start up? Here’s how a VoIP system will help you

Not sure what the future holds? Scale up and down easily

VoIP, aka the "Voice Over Internet Protocol", is a flexible phone system that allows you to make calls over your internet connection. This means you will have the ability to add a line as soon as you hire a new employee, and if they leave, you can easily reassign or remove that line. The implementation of VoIP subsequently ensures your telecoms strategy can grow alongside your business, hassle-free. Aiming for new heights? VoIP carries the further advantage of inexpensive international and long distance calls, allow for low-cost communication beyond national borders.

Working from home? Project a professional image  

Starting a new venture and managing time off for your personal life is difficult enough, but using a home line or mobile for your business makes successfully navigating this boundary even tougher. Investing in a VoIP system gives you the option to choose any geographical number, irrelevant of where you are located, allowing you to project a professional image and reinstate the boundary between your personal time and business time. Additionally, you will be able to give the impression of a more prestigious address, larger company size and the option to advertise in different areas.

Juggling previous commitments whilst starting your new venture?

Using a VoIP system means incoming calls are automatically routed to your VoIP phone where-ever you plug it into the network, this means you can work from home or take your VoIP phone away on your next trip. All you need is a good quality internet connection and you can work from anywhere, ensuring you can stay in touch with customers, prospects and suppliers with the flexibility you need.

Ease one financial risk 

Alongside the above benefits, you will also save on storage space and the equipment costs that come with a traditional phone system. Better yet, CMM provide a free telephone system for three year contracts, with the choice of the Yealink W52P or Polycom VX411, allowing you to invest in a new system - for less.

Rushed off your feet? The team at CMM will do all the legwork for you

As a CMM customer, you will be able to take advantage of your very own dedicated account manager, who will offer personalised advice specific to your business, starting with your free, zero obligation quote and audit. Once you're happy, CMM's support team to get to work and implement the system for you, ensuring you can get back to business.