What does 2019 hold for business telecoms?

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One of the few things Brexiters and Remainers agree upon is that a long slow exit strategy was a terrible mistake. Whatever developments are in store for telecom businesses in 2019, we hope it won’t be more of the same uncertainty.

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Handset prices

In the EU, only Finland and Sweden are significant manufacturers of telecom equipment (Nokia and Ericsson); however, there are substantially more in North America and the Far East. While instability in sterling or the euro could affect prices on a short-term basis, there is no underlying reason to expect any real change in the cost of hardware. New trade deals with China, Japan and the US should be easy to negotiate and no party is likely to regard price changes as in its interests.

The demise of landlines

24 per cent of households have a landline that is never used and only have one because telecom companies insist on bundling them with internet packages. BT intends to phase out the old wired phone network, guaranteeing the disappearance of old-style phones in the near future.

Businesses are already switching to VoIP, using handsets that connect through broadband routers. An international VoIP wholesale provider such as https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/2018/02/27/expect-international-voip-wholesale-provider/ can offer a complete telephony service at a lower cost and with more features than the old networks.

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Ironically, this probably means that ISP charges will rise as telecom companies attempt to recoup the income they used to get from phone lines nobody wanted by moving the costs onto the family broadband; however, VoIP phone charges no longer depend on call volume and distance, so phones will tend to get used more. The net winners will be the heavy users.

5G mobiles

5G mobile handsets will appear in our shops during the second half of the year. The speed improvement means more people will reach for their smartphones to do their shopping or locate nearby retailers and businesses.

EE has announced that London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester will get the first roll-outs; in other cities, there may be little point in having a 5G phone until 2020. The first to reach the shops is likely to be the Samsung S10 or Huawei P30, with growing annoyance over the revelation that ‘back doors’ in Samsung phones are used to spy on their users perhaps encouraging a gradual shift toward Huawei smartphones.

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