fullscreen-capture-28112016-145639

Putting mobile connectivity at the heart of new developments

  • 28 Nov 2016

  • Share

brendanBrendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer at O2, explains why connectivity – just as much as plumbing and electricity – must be embedded within the fabric of new buildings.

 

Smartphones have transformed our lives

The latest ONS report on UK internet access showed that nearly three quarters of adults are using smartphones to get online – nearly double the number just five years ago. With such widespread and increasing demand for mobile internet access, it goes without saying that people expect a reliable, fast connection whenever and wherever they are.

Connectivity is a deal breaker

For those in the property sector, this increasing demand is becoming particularly pertinent. Connectivity is becoming a deal breaker for people looking to buy, rent or invest in property – whether commercial or residential. At this year’s UK Construction Week conference at the NEC in Birmingham, I spoke about the rapidly increasing importance of ubiquitous connectivity and the steps we need to take to secure the UK’s digital future.

fullscreen-capture-28112016-145639

Internet speed checkers are now routinely provided by sites such as Zoopla, Rightmove and uSwitch, and the Home Builders Federation recently pledged to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties across the UK.  Connectivity – just as much as plumbing and electricity – must be embedded within the fabric of new buildings. It’s now a modern day utility that we can’t do without. It’s therefore more important than ever for mobile operators and property developers to work closely together to build the right conditions to meet this demand. 

4G roll out

Digital is the invisible infrastructure that will allow businesses to flourish, communities to better serve their citizens and people to work, play and spend whenever, wherever and however they like. We are spending £2m a day to roll out 4G, as well as upgrading existing 2G and 3G networks to improve coverage for our customers. However, with 5G on the horizon, we must all work together to build the digital network we need for the future. We need equal effort from government, local authorities, and property developers to build the always-on connectivity that our economy depends on.

Landlords and developers

Landlords and developers hold the key to providing operators with access to new site installations and areas where network faults need to be fixed. Times and technology have changed; improved mobile infrastructure no longer needs to be obtrusive. We want to work with you to build better connected properties, which are ultimately more attractive properties.

Builders, planners and architects

Builders, planners and architects have real opportunities to consider mobile connectivity in the very first stages of development. Consider using materials that don’t obstruct mobile connectivity and ensure that connectivity considerations are front of mind throughout the different stages of development, so that the end-user is guaranteed great mobile connectivity, from street, to front door, to front room.

Government role

The government also need to create the right regulatory environment to stimulate investment in mobile infrastructure. The Digital Economy Bill has set us on the right track by simplifying planning rules for mobile infrastructure and helping to cut delays and costs, but more needs to be done, particularly as we look to the future and to 5G. We also need councils to support planning applications with an understanding that mobile connectivity will improve prosperity for local people.

We need to work more closely with the property industry to build a greater appreciation and understanding of the importance and desire for improved connectivity. The people working in new developments need to feel reassured that they have guaranteed connectivity, which is such a crucial element of their day-to-day lives. If we work together now to give people and businesses the mobile connectivity they want and need, we will all reap the benefits of a more connected, more prosperous UK economy for years to come.

Leave a Reply

More articles

ROCKWOOL

ROCKWOOL UK gets go-ahead for Pencoed site expansion

ROCKWOOL UK, has been given permission by Bridgend County Borough Council to develop a new 20 acre storage area at its Pencoed site in South Wales.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Insulation, Plant, Equipment and Hire, Posts

  • Share
Senior Architectural Systems

Senior delivers a new look for Leicester’s New Walk

A landmark new mixed use development in a historic part of Leicester has undergone a modern makeover, courtesy of Senior Architectural Systems.

Posted in Aluminium Products, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Case Studies, Curtain Walling, Doors, Facades, Glazing, Posts, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls, Windows

  • Share
AWMS

New Wade and Gatic MD to create centre of excellence for water management

Simon Hipgrave has joined Alumasc Water Management Solutions (AlumascWMS) as Managing Director of globally renowned drainage brands Wade and Gatic.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Damp & Waterproofing, Landscaping, Posts, Recruitment

  • Share
Wienerberger

Wienerberger achieves 'Excellent' BES 6001 rating for products

A longstanding commitment to ethical and responsible manufacturing has allowed Wienerberger to earn an “Excellent” rated BES 6001 certificate.

Posted in Articles, Bricks & Blocks, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Regulations & Accreditations, Posts, Roofs, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

  • Share