Telecom’s importance will continue to be magnified as the global population is expected to reach 8 billion by November 2022. With this massive number of people distributed worldwide coupled with fast-paced digital development, the need to be connected prevails.

If users can connect online but cannot be reached, it becomes a tricky situation. Thus, being able to connect and having the means to be reached by other devices or people are both keys to a seamless telecom service.

New research commissioned by Ookla shows just how much more consumers are relying on their mobile connections nowadays. The percentage of consumers who describe themselves as always online has surged, from 30% to 69%. These valuable customers need reliable networks to keep up with the demands of their mobile internet use.

From a commercial perspective, the majority believe that the most significant business driver to deploying mobile private network,s is to support the digitalization of large enterprises.

Connectivity made better, stronger

Connectivity is a major priority that can improve the quality of life, eventually helping people to be more reachable. With technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 leading us into the future, unlimited connectivity will become a necessity to enable life-enhancing services like AI-powered smart homes and clinical facilities.

Further into 2022, one out of two smartphones will be able to support 5G globally as 40% of all devices are working their way to 5G compatibility.

With a whopping 2.5 billion consumers under 25 years of age, most of whom are always online, higher demands for fast connections with low-latency arise. Additionally, about 45% of young adults running a business use social media platforms for customer service, while millions are surfing the web for information, shopping and connecting to brands online.

Unlike previous generations of communication networks, 5G is considered the cornerstone of digital transformation wherein the world's major economies utilize 5G as an essential part of long-term development.

Moreover, 60% of global mobile network data traffic is expected to travel over 5G networks by 2027. With better, safer and stronger connectivity in mind, we can unleash the power of IoT, enable demanding use cases and secure networks in an evolving threat landscape.

Participating in society without being connected is no longer feasible, as most services like banking, telecommuting, distance learning and digital identity verification can only be accessed with the internet. An anonymous senior software engineer at Microsoft wrote, “Societal norms will dictate to connect. Products will dictate to connect. Entertainment needs will require a connection.”

The ability to connect multiple aspects of our lives online also makes it harder to disentangle from a digitally focused system moving forward. Metaverse, for example, is a trending topic being explored that merges the physical and virtual personas together.

As more technological advances prevail, modern life is ever more dependent on having near-constant internet access, and telcos must keep up with this demand and deliver services that bring value to customers.

Within reach

In most cases, the telecom services are only as good as the service providers themselves. When choosing an operator, a solid reputation for quality services and products, exceptional customer support and reliability is key.

Typically, when a smartphone is unreachable, it could either be powered off, receiving a weak signal, out of battery power, switched to airplane mode or in some way destroyed. Otherwise, the network will have some mechanisms like timers, periodic updates and paging to know whether the user equipment (UE) is reachable at a given moment.

If there are coverage or voice quality issues, one can try to switch off any of the devices in proximity that produce electromagnetic induction (such as internet routers) and then restart their mobile device. They can also try re-inserting the SIM card into this or a separate device. If worse comes to worst, one should contact their network operator who will be able to sort the issue from their end.

Technically speaking, the reachability in 5G involves the basic functionalities in the core such as the Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF). Applicable to IoT use cases, some features were originally designed for the network to acquire knowledge on the expected transmission/reachability times of the devices. 5G takes these initial solutions much further, acknowledging the fact that IoT devices can be dormant, only “waking up” and becoming reachable for rather short periods.

Moving towards the 5G network function, a whole sequence of signaling exchanges with dedicated messages and parameters has been created to share the knowledge on paging, mobility handling and the actual transfer of data.

By definition, a reachable UE can receive incoming communication. In cases like emergencies where service is disrupted, two-way radios and satellite-supported phones are used. Foundational technology and communications needs vary based on the scope, scale and nature of the emergency.

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