The Internet, needless to say, is an indispensable part of our lives. But, to backtrack a bit, it’s not only changed only our lifestyles, but its own abilities. What used to be a static network with very little bytes being exchanged has evolved into a dynamic entity capable of transferring very large amounts of data. It has grown to encompass entire universities, hospitals and many small and large institutions. However, the internet is available as long as the enabling technologies play their parts well. This includes networking devices such as routers, modems, servers, fiber cables etc. and the various communication protocols.
The Internet of Things or IoT is a network made up of sensors and other devices that are interconnected so that data can be exchanged. The applications of IoT include wearable devices, industry automation etc. However, the connectivity for the IoT devices is provided by computer networks. Technologies such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, Wifi, 5G etc. are used by the IoT devices to stay interconnected. On-board units on vehicles are also a very important application of IoT. These devices control a vehicle’s features including heating, entertainment systems, power etc. The on-board units can in turn be controlled using smartphones from anywhere in the world.
One of the best advantages of cellular communication is its mobility. Mobility refers to the movement of devices or users across different cellular coverage areas. Even when devices move away from a tower, uninterrupted connectivity is possible due to the concept of mobility, where the network helps the device to get connected to another tower closest to it. When we talk about mobility, it is impossible to miss out on connected vehicles. Connected vehicles can connect to other vehicles, roadside units and devices in the vicinity through wireless media. In fact, connected vehicles are capable of providing entertainment, bi-directional communication, and improved safety.
With the emergence of better connectivity, the sophistication of connected vehicles has only increased. Routes are automatically selected, the speed of a vehicle is adjusted to adapt the speed of the other vehicles in the vicinity, accident alerts are shared, collision control is improved and traffic patterns are predicted. However, all of these are limited by the communication technologies available. With the advent of 5G, the latency of the on-board devices that enable connected vehicles to communicate can be reduced. This can help to improve real-time communication. Some of the leading organisations that have been working on the concept of connected vehicles include Ericsson, Volvo, Google and Tesla, among others. Ericsson has collaborated with Microsoft to improve connectivity between vehicles by incorporating cloud technology.
Anywhere operations is a model that helps to support employee engagement, customers and to manage the deployment business operations from anywhere in the world using a distributed architecture. It focuses on providing value-added experiences such as collaboration and productivity through enhanced security, improved automation and better storage through cloud and edge computing technologies. In order to provide a seamless digital experience, it is important to model the architecture accordingly. The anywhere operations model would not be as effective if it were not for improved communication networks.
Due to the complexity of evolving networks and their improved applicability, many trends have begun to take shape. These include next-generation wireless technologies, software-defined networks, network encryption, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas), and anywhere operations among others.