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Expenditure must triple, GSMA warns, as demand for mobile data across ‘megacities’ is expected to rise 50% by 2025

Major cities must encourage mobile operators to boost infrastructure spending to meet exploding demand for mobile data or face ‘network gridlock’.

That's according to a report by GSMA and Boston Consulting Group, entitled ‘Delivering the Digital Revolution’, coinciding with the 2018 Mobile World Congress (MWC). It assessed the ability for mobile networks to meet growing demand for data in the world’s largest cities, including Tokyo, New York, Mumbai and London among others.

With demand expected to rise by more than 50% in major cities by 2025, in part due to the rollout of 5G and the continued expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), the report warns networks in ‘megacities’ face a significant gap between data demand and network capacity.

Focusing predominately on major urban areas, a projected 48% of traffic demand is expected to go unserved by 2025 unless changes to regulatory frameworks and policies are made to encourage greater infrastructure spending.

John Giusti, GSMA chief regulatory officer, said: “The current global regulatory landscape has been successful in creating a competitive that has made mobile connectivity accessible to more than five billion people around the world.

“However, unless government policies encourage investment, the network capacity required to satisfy future demand is unlikely to be achieved.

“This will result in a bad deal for consumers and businesses, particularly those in our most populous cities, and is likely to have a direct impact on these economies.

“Measures such as making affordable spectrum available and relaxing planning restrictions on small cells can help foster an environment that enables operators to build mobile networks ready for the future.”

The GSMA argues while current policy has encouraged competition and low prices in most markets, regulations today either inhibit investment or slow approvals, adding cost to the deployment of new infrastructure technology.

Under current conditions deployment of infrastructure will be very financially challenging, with operation expenditure and capital expenditure relative to sales expected to double between 2017-2019 and 2020-2025.

Moreover, mobile operators’ capital and operational expenditures in cities would need to triple to sufficiently provide network capacity – a level GSMA describes as “simply not sustainable under current conditions.”

Rising demand for mobile data is underlined by research by StatCounter that showed mobile devices accounted for the majority of internet usage for the first time in October 2016, at 51.3%, overtaking desktops at 48.7%.

Meanwhile, telecom giant Vodafone recently announced a trial using 4G and IoT technology embedded in an air traffic control drone tracking and safety system to track and control drones which could present a risk to aircraft.

New technologies such as Vodafone’s trial, coupled with the gradual rollout of 5G – which Intel has earmarking latter 2019 as the date the first 5G-enabled laptops will hit the market – lending crednce to the GSMA’s stark warning that demand is set to outpace network capacity.

“Reforming regulation to reflect changing market and technology realities is a long and complex process, but it is vitally important to ensure our networks continue to deliver the best possible experience for subscribers,” Giusti added.

“Reaching compromise and balancing the needs of regulators and operators is critical to building the networks of the future and unlocking the economic and social benefits that access to mobile provides.

“All stakeholders must work together to ensure the timely and affordable deployment of new technologies necessary to delivering the next stage of our digital transformation journey.”

Written by Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Original article: http://www.itpro.co.uk/network-internet/30616/major-cities-face-network-gridlock-without-significant-mobile-infrastructure

Image credit: Bigstock

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock-solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.   

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meeting? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 90 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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Our outsourced help desk service can work by answering every incoming call your company receives, or just those that your business simply cannot manage as an overflow. We also provide email incident responses, along with live proactive monitoring through our NOC team. This can be for office hours or full 24/7.

Without the additional costs of employing more staff or training up the existing team we can provide a seamless integration. Our white label solution seamlessly assimilates with your existing help desk team. This way we can manage your out of hours calls, as well as providing critical day time overflow and disaster recovery cover.

Our helpdesk support team will be trained to replicate your current processes and use your ticketing system. We can also work with you to make more efficient changes, utilising our many years of experience. This solution gives you a highly trained team that can increase your service levels by providing your clients with support when they require it. The cost reduction is significant in comparison to operating your own inhouse team.

Why choose Microtechs?

Outsourcing support can be a minefield, and Microtechs have many years’ experience successfully rolling out support to our clients.

It’s not always been plain sailing and we have learned, adjusted and developed our processes along the way to provide a seamless transition for your customers.

We spend time with you, we learn what you do and how you do it. We use the systems you use and we learn to understand your customers specific needs. Continually training specialist groups of technical agents to support your customers as you would. Our vision is to become part of your team, which enables us to ensure your customers would not feel lost, as they could, in a huge offshore call centre.

We are excited by technology and love learning new products and systems. This combined with our excellent customer service focus and the passion to help and resolve issues means that we can always be those extra pairs of hands when you need us, night or day.

Based in the heart of Surrey we can upscale and use the technically focused talent available locally from the technology centre and university. Finding perfect candidates that are kind and courteous on the telephone, we focus on training internally developing and nurturing our employees. We enjoy working with technology enthusiasts and have several apprenticeship schemes running.

Our ultimate ambition is to provide an excellent experience for your customers, to quickly identify issues and resolve them. This provides an overall improvement in their support journey whilst simultaneously saving you the expensive of resourcing for the service in house.

 

For more information, call us on 01483 407417

Posted by on in Latest Microtechs news posts

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Public WiFi lets you work outside the office and provides a cheap alternative to mobile broadband. But it is vulnerable to hackers, so if you’re conducting business (or using it for sensitive personal communications) then you need to take precautions.

What exactly is the problem with public WiFi? Anyone connected to a WiFi network without a password can use a tool such as Wireshark to monitor traffic, allowing them to see any data sent “in the clear” (without encryption).

In the worst case, where a website is not using encrypted HTTPS, this could include passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information. There’s also the risk of connecting to a fake WiFi hotspot mimicking a real public WiFi network for the sole purpose of gathering data.

Many WiFi hotspots are also vulnerable to known exploits and could be remotely hacked over the internet.

How to stay safe on public WiFi

Although there are risks with using public WiFi you don’t need to avoid it completely. There are simple steps anyone can take to improve security when connecting to unknown networks.

Check the WiFi network name

This is really simple: check that the WiFi network SSID (Service Set Identifier – the network name) and password matches the details provided by the operator of the network exactly. If not it may be a honeypot and should be avoided.

Beware of devices auto-connecting to known networks

By default our computers and smartphones will automatically connect to previously used networks. But hackers have been known to create WiFi hotspots with very common names to capture large numbers of victims, many of whom may not notice they’re even connected to WiFi. If you want to allow automatic reconnections for convenience keep WiFi switched off until you need it, and always double check the details of a network when it’s activated.

Keep software and hardware up to date

It’s generally good practice to ensure all software and hardware is running with the latest updates to block known exploits.

Always use HTTPS for sensitive communications

If a web site is not secured with HTTPS your traffic is at risk of interception. If you’re logging in to a service, making a purchase or doing anything else which involves transmitting sensitive information you should always check that the site is protected by HTTPS – look for the green padlock next to the web site address.

Use a VPN (that you trust)

This is optional but highly recommended. A Virtual Private Network is a service which encrypts all internet traffic. This will completely block interception of data on the Wi-Fi network – all anyone will be able to see is a stream of scrambled data going to the VPN server.

But because you’re sending everything to the VPN you need to trust the operator of that service. Often a business will provide VPN access to employees, but if you’re handling this yourself it’s worth taking the time to research the options. There are free services, but these are generally not to be trusted. A paid subscription to a reputable provider such as Private Internet Access, AirVPN or NordVPN is worth the small asking price.

Matt Powell is editor at Broadband Genie

Original article: https://realbusiness.co.uk/real-business-broadband/2018/02/06/tips-for-using-public-wifi-safety/

Microtechs Specialist White label Wi-Fi Support

Supporting some of the largest Wi-Fi providers in the UK, Microtechs prides itself with the ability to adapt between end user and staff support. Constantly monitoring staffing levels, to ensure seasonal fluctuations do not affect our service levels. Available 24/7/365.

Some of our clients include major UK airports, hotel chains, holiday parks and shopping centres.

Manufacturers and distributors of Wi-Fi and other cloud based products, also use our helpdesk to provide support to a wide range of resellers.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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The 2018 ComputerWeekly/TechTarget IT Priorities survey found that for IT decision-makers, 2018 is the cusp of the big move to the cloud. Systems management tools are where many expect to be spending this year. System monitoring saw a 20%-plus jump from 2017 to 2018 in terms of priority.

The survey reported that enterprises across Europe are committed to upgrading and consolidating their datacentres for a mix of efficiency, performance and cloud-readiness improvements.

Of the 1,875 IT decision-makers from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) who took part in the 2018 survey, about one-third (29%) said upgrading their datacentre infrastructure – including cooling systems, power supply and servers – is their top priority. This equates to a year-on-year rise of 44%.

Among the 243 IT professionals surveyed in the UK, the proportion that plan to deploy hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) nearly trebled year on year from 9% to 22%.

Other areas that saw growth in the number of planned deployments in 2018 include flash arrays, with 9% planning to roll them out this year compared with 6% last year; and storage for virtual environments, which saw an increase in planned deployments from 11% in 2017 to 18% this year.

In terms of datacentre projects, the migration to Windows Server 2016 seems to be the biggest priority for IT managers, with more than 30% saying they would migrate in 2018.

Meanwhile, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) remain the strongest categories for packaged business applications, with 53% of respondents naming these as priority areas for investment. But this figure represents a modest 3% growth for ERP and 2% for CRM, across Emea.

IT decision-makers are also starting to make strategic buying decisions around artificial intelligence and blockchain. AI leapt from 8% to 18% as a priority area in the UK, and from 8% to 16% in Emea. Blockchain went from 3% to 6% as an investment priority area in the UK, and from 5% to 10% in the Emea region.

Looking at IT security spending, data loss prevention (DLP) is the top security initiative across Europe, with 55% of organisations planning to implement it in 2018, more than double the previous year, according to the TechTarget IT Priorities survey.

DLP dropped from top spot in 2016 in the UK to 8th position in 2017. This is closely followed by email security, encryption and endpoint security, all of which are to be implemented by 52% of European organisations polled and are aimed at improved data protection.

Significantly, planned adoption of encryption – which is widely considered as essential to data protection at rest, in transit and in the cloud – is up 94% compared with 2017. Planned investment in endpoint security is up 68% compared with 2017, which is relatively high considering it was the top priority for most European firms in the past year.

Interestingly, security is one of the big drivers for businesses to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. With less than two years to go before Windows 7 support officially stops, 44% of businesses surveyed said they would migrate to Windows 10 this year.

Migration is one of the big projects for 2018, but beyond making sure applications run, experts advise IT departments to start using Windows 10 to change the way desktop IT operates. Windows 10 represents more than just another Windows upgrade. The operating system itself will remain up to date through Windows updates, which should mean there will no longer be a need for “big bang migrations” of Windows desktops. Some industry experts believe there is an opportunity for IT to relinquish overall responsibility for desktop systems.

This may help IT to deliver on some of the areas regarded by industry experts as hot technologies, but which have seen little uptake. For instance, the IT Priorities survey found that only 14% of respondents said they would deploy cloud-based office productivity suites such as Office 365 or Google G Suite in 2018. And only 10% said they would deploy enterprise file synchronisation and sharing services.

Looking at software development, while most initiatives are down year on year, microservices have grown by 140% to appear in the top five for the first time. More than a quarter of UK IT decision-makers said they would be conducting API-based projects in 2018, which suggests organisations are beginning to see the opportunities of developing software around composable architectures that publish external APIs and make use of internal and external microservices.

Overall, the survey found IT budgets are increasing in 2018, with new spending going on cloud initiatives at the expense of on-premise IT. Those across Emea who said their budgets were decreasing expect to spend less on staff and consulting services.

By Cliff Saran

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/252434184/IT-Priorities-2018-Where-senior-IT-managers-plan-to-spend-their-budget

Picture credit: newsfirst.lk

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock-solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We can provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we can provide excellent customer service and technical support. All our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you can extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your help desk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meeting? No problem, your help desk has your back.

We work with over 85 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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A help desk provides support for either employees or clients, or both. The help desks takes inbound phone calls and emails, addresses the person's concerns and tries to fix the problem. Help desks focus primarily on technical issues, such as problems with an employee's computer, or with an online ordering system. Some companies choose to outsource their help desk. Outsourcing has several advantages.

Flexible Hours

If your business runs on a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, you may not have employees to work the help desk during nonpeak times. Clients or other employees who call in for assistance after hours will go to a voice mail, which can lead to frustration and complaints. By outsourcing workers from different time zones, you can provide 24-hour support from a live representative.

Reduced Cost

Many companies that provide outsourcing teams offer these services at a reduced rate. Hiring a full staff from these companies may cost less than hiring an in-house staff. If you outsource you help desk on a contract basis, you will not have to provide the benefit packages or other perks in-house staff receives, further reducing costs.

Easier Management

If you outsource the help desk through a contracting company, it will do most of the work for you. The third-party company recruits and hires employees, reducing the stress on your in-house human resources department. When an employee leaves, the company will find a replacement, saving you in recruiting costs. The company will also manage the employees including tracking time worked, missed days or performance issues.

Higher Profits

When a company has an inadequate help desk, it creates customer dissatisfaction. A customer wants to be able to call in at any hour, speak to someone directly and resolve the problem quickly. By having a 24-hour fully trained help desk, you meet the client's needs. A happy client will stay with your company longer and may do more business with you, which will increase your profits.

by Amelia Jenkins

Original article: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-outsourcing-desk-15977.html

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock-solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We can provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we can provide excellent customer service and technical support. All our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you can extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meeting? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 85 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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Two UK-built spacecraft designed to latch on to ageing communication satellites and keep them in their assigned orbit, thereby extending their life, will be launched in 2020.

The announcement follows the signing of a $100m contract between UK-based Effective Space, which is developing the Space Drone spacecraft, and a major satellite operator.

Once launched, the spacecraft will be used to control the position and orientation of two communication satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, potentially extending their life by several years, according to Shahida Barick, head of satellite operations at Effective Space.

Most satellites are designed for 15 years’ service, at the end of which their hardware systems typically still work perfectly but their propulsion system can no longer control their position, said Barick.

“These multi-million pound satellites are decommissioned essentially because they run out of fuel,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense to decommission satellites that are otherwise healthy and providing services that are generating millions of pounds in revenue.”

The Space Drone spacecraft, which are capable of carrying out multiple missions within their 15-year lifespan, weigh less than 400kg. They are equipped with electric thrusters and a universal docking system that allows them to dock with almost all of the approximately 400 communications satellites in orbit.

“As [Space Drone] approaches the communications satellite it will deploy a set of four identical docking arms, which will latch onto the satellite’s launch interface ring,” she said.

This is an extremely tough part of the satellite, used to attach the spacecraft to their launch rocket.

“Once we are latched onto the ring, we essentially become part of that satellite, and act as an external jet pack,” said Barick.

After docking with a satellite, the drones will use their electric thrusters, which are attached to another set of protruding arms, to keep the combined spacecraft in the correct position and orientation.

When the satellites are ready for decommissioning, the drones can simply use their thrusters to move them into a safe “graveyard orbit”.

The agreement is one of the first commercial contracts for in-orbit satellite servicing.

The Space Drone spacecraft could also be used for removing space debris, to support low-earth orbit or medium-earth-orbit constellations, and for in-space exploration, mining and manufacturing logistics.

By Helen Knight

Original article: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/spacecraft-satellites/

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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The Isle of Wight Council has applied for a government grant to install a 5G testbed on the island and become one of a handful of testbed locations across the UK.

New council papers on growth and regeneration note that: “An island bid to become a testbed for 5G mobile communications has been submitted in December 2017 and a bid for the UK government Local Full Fibre programme is being prepared for the end of January 2018 deadline.”

The bid follows recommendations from the island’s Infrastructure Task Force to improve infrastructure, public transport and mainland connectivity.

The Council held a conference in November, which saw more than 200 delegates providing input to shape the future digital strategy of the Isle of Wight and the wider Solent region, including the 5G bid.

5G for health and social care

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson told 5G.co.uk: “Following the successful digital conference held in November 2017, the council has been supporting a consortium of organisations on the Isle of Wight to bid for funding from the government’s 5G testbed programme.”

They added: “If selected, the trials can support testing of a wide range of industry applications but will initially focus on how 5G services can enable better health and social care in a population of higher than average age. These services could include high quality, yet cost-saving services like video consultancy in remote locations and contribute to telehealth initiatives, where people can be treated in their own homes.”

An Isle of Wight digital preparedness roadmap and strategy is also scheduled to be commissioned in January 2018, for completion and launch in April 2018.

Government funding

In October, the UK government launched the “5G Testbeds and Trials” competition, offering grants of up to £5 million to new 5G test locations across the UK. The initiative is part of the government’s £740 million National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) which aims to support the next generation of digital infrastructure, including 5G and full fibre broadband.

In November it also launched a £190 million Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) Challenge Fund to demonstrate approaches that attract and support private investment and make sustainable commercial deployments viable.

Other testbeds

While the Isle of Wight may end up having one of the UK’s first 5G testbeds, there are a few other locations that have already been approved for one and they all have their own areas of focus. These include Tyne and Wear, which will use the testbed to focus on energy, transport and healthcare.

Brighton meanwhile will use a testbed to help small businesses develop products and services that could benefit from 5G, the Midlands will look into commercial applications around cyber security, and Basingstoke will focus on a 5G step-out facility for start-ups to test apps.

By Sarah Wray

Image credit : Shutterstock

Original article:  https://5g.co.uk/news/isle-of-wight-5g-testbed/4258/

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

Call us now on 01483 407417

 

 

Posted by on in Latest Microtechs news posts

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Describing the 5G vision to be more prolific than initially realised, Lindsay Notwell, VP 5G Strategy at Cradlepoint, clarifies why both network and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie.

Article and image via http://networkcommunicationsnews.co.uk/2017/12/5g-sparks-new-possibilities/

BY JESSICA FOREMAN

There is certainly huge hype around 5G. Billed by Qualcomm as a next generation network with the potential to be as transformative as electricity itself, both network operators and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie.

It is the vision for this new 5G world – a combination of various technologies that will create the next generation wide area network (WAN) needed to support the world’s growing connectivity needs. The GSMA, which tracks the number of mobile devices worldwide, estimates that there are more than 5 billion mobile devices being used by people around the world. This represents 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since mobile phones were introduced in the early 1980s.  By the end of 2017, Gartner predicts the number of connected ‘things’ globally will reach 8.4 billion, projecting 21 billion by the year 2020.

The next generation WAN will have all the features of 4G, plus capacity for massive mobile data. It will offer the voice, video and mobile data features of 3G. It will include Wi-Fi spectrum, and offer 2G-like for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and long battery life. With virtually zero latency and gigabit throughput, these features will together form the next generation 5G WAN.

Work in progress

As this vision becomes clearer, so does the realisation that it will be some time before this technology becomes a full reality.  We are still in a pre-standards phase for 5G.  But whilst an agreed specification is not expected until 2019, network operators are already conducting 5G trials today using pre-standard architecture – in the hopes of driving the full standard, and being first to market.

One new technology being used is ‘millimetre wave’ spectrum, a very high frequency spectrum ranging from 6 to 100GHz – which is most effective for point-to-point wireless communication. The spectrum effectively carries data, but is inadequate in its quest to penetrate solid objects. Once specification is set, operators are being able to combine millimetre wave spectrum with sub-6GHz spectrum, which is what all Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) and Wi-Fi are deployed in today.  Whilst this carries less data, it is much better for penetrating buildings and provides standards for cell-site handoff.

Operators now test pre- specification; however, this is only a temporary solution with a few restrictions. The current 5G trials include no interoperability between carriers and no mobility – so it’s good for Fixed Wireless Access, but widespread 5G device adoption is still a long way off.  The potential benefits of 5G technology, nevertheless, are huge: less latency with more throughput, connection density, spectrum efficiency, traffic capacity, and network efficiency — all of which is achievable within the next couple of years.

Bigger, better, faster

The ultra-low latency requirements of 5G will cause operators to re-architect current networks, distributing their centralised routing engines to the network edge.  In addition, the IoT industry, which primarily occupies the low bitrate range, is expecting new standards such as NB-IoT, CAT-M1 and CAT1, enabling lower cost devices with longer battery life and further reach.

To manage the next generation network, companies will need to consider the value of hardware combined with software-defined networking (SDN) technology. Enabling this on the next generation 5G WAN will be a fundamental framework that securely connects all of the people and IoT devices around the world, while providing the capacity to process the huge volumes of data being generated.

Many organisations are already deploying SDN to increase bandwidth and lower costs in their corporate networks. This fundamentally changes not just how networks are built and managed, but how they evolve. It makes networks more agile and efficient, enabling new functionality to be deployed on a much more agile basis, rather than on a hardware-constrained timeline.

This will be crucial in delivering the vision of 5G, which has the potential to make a real impact in life-saving areas and applications. The reduced latency will transform areas such as remote surgery, where remote controlled robotics can be controlled wirelessly in real-time. These applications are currently limited to a wired environment; 5G will extend high-performance connectivity to a wide array of devices. 5G will be more than just higher speeds and lower latency; it will offer the higher connection density central to IoT maturity.

For IoT to reach its fullest potential, intelligence, processing power and communication capabilities need to travel quickly and effortless across networks, mobile devices and connected sensors. But new, software-based networks will be needed to handle 5G’s throughput capabilities and massive scalability.

The information superhighway

The amount of data being generated by IoT devices is already growing significantly faster than the ability of the network to process it.  5G will only make this problem exponentially worse.

The cloud is a vital part of the IoT ecosystem for its ability to store, process and analyse data at a massive scale, but the substantial increase in data generation from IoT poses both infrastructure and economic problems. Rather than trying to move all this data to the cloud, we need to find ways of moving data processing intelligence to the source of the data – before it hits the cloud. Edge Computing – otherwise known as Fog Computing – will pay a key role here.  This brings some of the processing to where the data is generated, rather than moving all of the data to the cloud to be processed.

Bringing computing power to the Edge of the network helps address the challenge of data build-up, mostly in closed IoT systems. The ultimate goal is to minimise cost and latency, and to control network bandwidth. A major benefit is the reduction of data needing to be stored in the cloud. It costs around £3,000 per petabyte for long-term cloud storage and around 10 times that for real-time access storage. Being able to use a technology to reduce these costs is a real benefit for businesses.

This also reduces the lag that can occur between data transmission, processing, and the action required at the end. For example, since cloud data centres can be hundreds – if not thousands – of miles away from a connected device, this round-trip latency can be tens to hundreds of milliseconds. For IoT use cases like robotic control, autonomous vehicles and precision manufacturing, increased latency at these levels can be a relative lifetime. Bringing computing power to the Edge of the network can reduce the cycle to just a few milliseconds.

A wide reach

For IoT to reach its full potential, intelligence, processing power and communication capabilities need to travel quickly and effortless across networks, mobile devices and connected sensors.

 

While there are many components, 5G will be a central part of this solution. It could be the light at the end of the tunnel for unlimited wireless network bandwidth and performance. While the specification is yet to come, the vision for 5G is set, and it will likely be more prolific than anything we’ve seen before.

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.   

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients. 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

Call us now on 01483 407417

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One third (32%) of IT professionals in a new survey plan to find a new employer in 2018.

According to Spiceworks’ 2018 IT Career Outlook, 75% of those planning to switch jobs are seeking a better salary, 70% are looking to advance their skills and 39% want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.

In terms of the tech skills necessary to be successful next year, 81% of respondents said it’s critical to have cybersecurity expertise. At least 75% of IT professionals also said it’s critical to have expertise in networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, and storage and backup.

However, when asked to rate their expertise in each area, only 19% of IT pros reported having advanced cybersecurity knowledge. When comparing generations, the results show 15% of millennials reported having advanced cybersecurity skills compared to 22% of Gen X and 26% of baby boomers.

The results also show that 7% of IT professionals plan to start working as a consultant, 5% plan to leave the IT industry altogether and 2% plan to retire in 2018. Additionally, 51% of respondents expect a raise from their current employer next year, while one-fifth (21%) also expect a promotion.

About a quarter (24%) of IT professionals aren’t expecting any career changes or a raise next year.

When examining the data by generation, the results show 36% of millennial IT professionals plan to search for or take a new job next year, compared to 32% of Gen X and 23% of baby boomers. In comparison to older generations, the survey shows that millennial IT professionals are more likely to leave their current employer to find a better salary, advance their skills, work for a more talented team and receive better employee perks. Conversely, Gen X IT professionals are more likely to seek a better work-life balance, while baby boomers are more likely to leave their employer due to burnout.

Interestingly, the survey shows 70% of IT professionals are satisfied with their current jobs, but 63% believe they’re underpaid. This rate is even higher among millennials. About 68% of millennial IT professionals feel underpaid, compared to 60% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers.

Despite feeling underpaid, IT professionals have a positive outlook on the job market next year, leading many to search for new opportunities. In fact, 36% of IT professionals believe the IT job market will improve in 2018, while 51% believe it will stay the same and only 13% believe it will get worse.

In terms of how much IT professionals are paid, the results show millennials are paid a median income of $50,000 per year, while Gen X IT professionals are paid $65,000 and baby boomers are paid $70,000. However, millennial IT professionals have an average of seven years of experience compared to 17 years among Gen X and 25 years among baby boomers.

“Although the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, many also believe they should be making more money, and will take the initiative to find an employer who is willing to pay them what they’re worth in 2018,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Many IT professionals are also motivated to change jobs to advance their skills, particularly in cybersecurity. As data breaches and ransomware outbreaks continue to haunt businesses, IT professionals recognize there is high demand for skilled security professionals now, and in the years to come.”

By Tara Seals US/North America News Reporter, Infosecurity Magazine

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/onethird-of-it-pros-plan-to-switch/

Picture credit – Getty Images

Microtechs 24/7 helpdesk services

The festive season is fast approaching and this means two things!

1. Trying to cover your Helpdesk to provide support for your clients when you or others in your team need to take time off with the family!
2. Statistically the end of the year is when the most people hand in their notice to move onto pastures new.

Microtechs is here to help, we can:

1. Provide an overflow support to work in conduction with your current team.
2. Extend your opening hours to full 24/7 support
3. Take on the first and second line tasks to allow your team to focus on projects which bring in extra revenue.

We are trusted by more than 100 different technology companies, big to small, to support their clients from our 24/7/365 Helpdesk based in Guildford, Surrey and prices start from £500 per month.

  • *      24/7 or office hours available – packages available from £500 per month
  • *      A great value alternative to recruiting or expanding internally
  • *      NOC facilities and proactive monitoring available 15 minute SLA
  • *      Fully white labelled to your business name
  • *      Various models to meet all business needs

If you would like to find out more, please contact us on 01483 407417.

 

 

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With increasing UK cities providing free gigabit Wi-Fi, can hotels still justify charging guests for substandard Wi-Fi Services?

Research has found that many UK hotels are buckling under the pressure to cope with the number of devices connecting to a singular network. Produced by Zyxel, wireless communication experts, research found 9 out of 10 UK hotels believe that delivering Wi-Fi services to guests should still be chargeable, regardless of how fast the service.

With the inherent demand for instant connection and constant accessibility being an ever-prevalent attitude amongst society, it may come as a surprise that 18% of UK hotels (the highest figure in Europe) are still limiting and or charging for Wi-Fi access. On that statistic alone a question of whether European guests (particularly those that travel for business) are at risk of being disappointed by the UK hotel industry.

The study consisted of 405 hoteliers in 10 European markets, showing that a quarter of UK hotels installed Wi-Fi to make themselves more attractive to international guests, more than any other region surveyed. In spite of this, 41% of UK hotels admit they still struggle to cope with the number of connected devices, second only to Italy at 65%.

These figures come from Zyxel’s Connected Hospitality Report: Europe, which investigates how the hospitality sector in Western Europe is using Wi-Fi to support guests’ increasingly connected lifestyles.

UK hotels in particular had a high proportion of hotel guests staying over for business purposes, with 75% of hotels saying this group made up at least half of their customer base. Notably, business customers often need Wi-Fi for critical use cases and extended periods, meaning poor connections or usage caps are bound to cause frustration.

Jannik Hargaard, president of Europe at Zyxel, comments, “In a world where hotel bookings are directly related to scores on TripAdvisor, small frustrations can have a significant impact on revenue over time. Almost all guests now expect free Wi-Fi for everything from uploading holiday snaps to sending emails, making these services essential. In an attempt to squeeze out extra revenue through charging for connectivity, hotels could be shooting themselves in the foot as competitors provide a better service.”

Of all the regions surveyed, the UK has the highest proportion of hoteliers that are using Wi-Fi as an additional revenue source, or considering to do so at 38% – well above the European average of 23%. The UK also has the highest rate of hotels looking to provide free Wi-Fi in the future (27%), a personalised mobile app (20%), or an upgrade to their website (36%).

Jannik continues, “When looking to monetise Wi-Fi networks, it’s important that hotels think about the bigger picture before charging for usage. Free Wi-Fi allows hotels to communicate deals with their guests, opens up the market to business customers and allows up-selling of media services and travel packages. Importantly, providing personalised services and a great experience drives guest loyalty.”

The underlying reasons for many Wi-Fi issues are made apparent by the fact almost half (49%) of the hoteliers questioned either did not have, or did not know if they had, a site survey prior to installation. Figures also highlighted that 15%of installations were completed by the hotel manager or another member of staff, rather than an IT professional.

“Every hotel is different and each presents particular challenges to the deployment of an effective Wi-Fi network, “says Jannik. “Common problems include distance from access points, the thickness of walls and so on. Hoteliers are clearly not installing Wi-Fi that fits the needs of their building environment, or their guests, which is why they’re struggling with demand.”

BY JESSICA FOREMAN

http://networkcommunicationsnews.co.uk/2017/11/struggling-substandard-wi-fi-services/

picture credit: thebudgettraveller.org

Microtechs Specialist White label Wi-Fi Support

Supporting some of the largest Wi-Fi providers in the UK, Microtechs prides itself with the ability to adapt between end user and staff support. Constantly monitoring staffing levels, to ensure seasonal fluctuations do not affect our service levels.

Some of our clients include major UK airports, hotel chains, holiday parks and shopping centres.

Manufacturers and distributors of Wi-Fi and other cloud based products, also use our helpdesk to provide support to a wide range of resellers.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

CONTACT US

Our business truly is 24/7, We operate entirely out of this office using our own staff.

Microtechs Head Office

Microtechs Ltd
Sussex House
11 The Pines
Broad Street
Guildford
GU3 3BH  

T: +44 (0) 1483 407400
Einfo@microtechs.co.uk

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