The ability to connect to the internet from virtually anywhere underpins many of our day-to-day activities. Ubiquitous connectivity describes a state where devices are able to create, share and process data — and never lose connectivity.
What is it?
Ubiquitous connectivity is exactly what it sounds like; it’s always-on, never lapsing or losing the connection, so connected assets and devices can always access the data they need.
The ubiquitous connectivity approach uses the best signal available in a given location to connect devices regardless of which communications service provider devices are attached to. This can help bring innovation to resource-limited parts of the planet, and it allows organizations to deliver additional business value via connected products and services that rely on the constant movement of data.
Ultimately, ubiquitous connectivity has the potential to transform the way we live, work, and operate as a society.
What’s in for you?
With ubiquitous connectivity, organizations can provide always-on mobile capabilities that go way beyond those offered by a handset, helping employees become more productive and efficient. And, with real-time information continually fed back into the business, managers can gain valuable insights into vital metrics like productivity and resource allocation to adapt their company operations and customer experience to changes in context.
Organizations can also provide more data-driven and connected products and services to customers. It’s really a step-change in communications technology and it’s already transforming various industries today. For example, ubiquitous connectivity enables self-driving cars to operate safely, creating new opportunities in the automotive industry.
What are the trade offs?
While futurists talk of the possibilities of connecting people and processes across the planet, others see ubiquitous connectivity as an unnecessary privilege that not everyone will be able to afford. So, depending on your viewpoint, it’s either a technology that will democratize society, or cause social gaps to widen.
There are other concerns, too. Users, organizations, and governments are becoming increasingly concerned by data privacy issues, and more connections create more opportunities for hackers to exploit.
The idea of ubiquitous connectivity is that different networks work together to ensure assets are always connected, so mobile network operators will have to collaborate effectively to enable truly always-on connectivity.
How is it being used?
From self-driving cars to facial-recognition systems, the potential uses for ubiquitous connectivity are virtually limitless.
Today, public utilities are already making use of this technology, with assets like garbage vehicles being effectively turned into roaming computers to provide real-time information to fleet managers.
Similarly, the city of Phoenix, AZ is using ubiquitous connectivity to better serve a population of 1.6 million people, creating a truly smart metropolis where all the city’s assets are constantly connected.