A World without Wireless?
Connectivity is the lifeblood of today’s modern world. There is barely any aspect of everyday life that is not dependent on some form of wireless connectivity to run smoothly. This is a transformation that we have been undergoing for decades and at RFS we’ve been around for more than 120 years, not just watching it happen but making it happen. Through every change in technology, evolving trends and shifting market need, we’ve been there innovating and developing solutions that have helped to build the wireless world we know today.
This week we launched the new RFS landscape, giving a practical map of the environments RFS is engaged in delivering essential connectivity from deep underground in metro lines, to mountain tops. You can explore the world through our RFS lens to see the solutions we offer and the problems we are helping to solve the world over. However, in this week’s blog we wanted to look at the topic of ‘connectivity everywhere’. It’s a great phrase, very catchy and looks good on leaflets but do we really mean it or are there areas where we can live in a world without wireless? Are we in a place with connectivity everywhere, or is it hyperbole? Let’s look.
Is connectivity everywhere just hype?
In homes and businesses, town centers and sports stadiums it is clear that operators have achieved pretty comprehensive coverage. There is still room to improve and grow it but, in those scenarios, there is either connectivity or connectivity is coming. Instead, we’re looking at some of the more unusual use cases, are they also now dependent on connectivity to function and how can that be delivered?
Many oil and gas platforms don’t sit anywhere near the reach of commercial mobile networks, they are often hundreds of kilometers out at sea and need an alternative approach to for connectivity. That connectivity is more important than ever before as digital transformation with the ability to drive safety and efficiency with connected monitoring making private 4G/LTE and 5G
an essential part of these operations. Likewise, offshore windfarms that are set to become more prevalent as we move towards net-zero targets need dedicated coverage to run effectively. At RFS we have been working on offshore projects for decades, developing solutions that serve this market while overcoming additional challenges due to the materials used in platform structures, piping, storage tanks and other infrastructure, make it even more challenging to ensure consistent wireless coverage everywhere.
From out at sea, let’s look deep underground. Underground mines are a dangerous environment making communications infrastructure essential to ensure the safety of workers. They are also challenging from a wireless point of view. Oddly shaped and running deep underground need specialist equipment to ensure continuous and comprehensive coverage that is needed. Our RADIAFLEX cable has been a long-standing staple in mining environments, designed with the strictest safety guidelines in mind to deliver connectivity that meets regulatory requirements, and is built to last.
Now from the deepest wireless deployments on the planet to somewhere a little warmer, in-building sites. In some cases, buildings can be covered by commercial 4G and 5G networks, however there are scenarios where something more targeted is needed. This is where we really see the need for wireless. From manufacturing to education to hospital campuses; in-building wireless has been deployed to support a growing range of applications where low-latency, ultra-reliable connectivity is being used to enhance processes and better serve their respective industries. The impact of digital transformation on virtually all industries is that connectivity is now an essential service, they cannot run without it. This makes it more important than ever that the solutions we offer as a wireless infrastructure designer are built to last, with robustness that serves the dependency we have on wireless connectivity.
Going back to the original question in the title, can we imagine a world without wireless? The only conclusion we can reach is a resounding no. We not only depend on wireless for the places we can see and take for granted there is coverage, but we also need connectivity in places and for applications that we don’t realise. From offshore energy platforms, to hospitals, to deep underground, connectivity has improved the safety and efficiency of virtually every business. While there may not quite be connectivity everywhere yet, we have the blueprint to deliver wireless in any environment and with demand continuing to grow connectivity across the entire face of the earth is well on the way.
If you would like to see how RFS solutions are delivering wireless technology across the world, visit our new interactive landscape.