The much anticipated next-gen mobile signal began its UK rollout in late May, when EE launched its 5G network in 6 cities. Vodafone was quick to follow suit, with O2 entering the arena in October.

The expectation is that 5G will offer broadband- equivalent speeds to smartphone users, will be able to handle more data and connect more devices simultaneously. Latency - the time taken for information to transfer once a command has been given - is also reduced.

So how fast is fast? In London, it's estimated that users will be able to expect average download speeds of approximately 200 Mbps. To put that into context, the average speed for 4G in Stoke-on-Trent, ranked No1 for 4G, is 26.6Mbps.

New Phone Launches

Samsung and Apple launched new ranges of mobiles in flagship events through the course of the year. 


Every year there's a buzz around the Apple event, hosted from its HQ in Cupertino, California. This year was equally exciting with a dazzling display of homegrown new goodies that’ll be high on Christmas lists this year.

The iPhone 11 Pro stole the show but equally head-turning were the Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, the new 10.2-inch iPad, the colourful iPhone 11, and the Apple Watch Series.

Samsung, meanwhile, launched the Galaxy devices that rapidly gained a huge following, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G having the added benefit of being compatible with the new network.

End of the Line for ISDN

Even as 5G is being introduced, so plans are underway to bring to an end the legacy network that's underpinned the UK's telephony infrastructure since the mid 1980's. BT announced back in 2015 that they would be shutting down the ISDN network by 2025, and accepting no new orders from 2020. Many organisations are already reaping the benefits of newer, more efficient and reliable solutions, however for those now considering how to shape the future of their business communications, there are a range of options.

These include VoIP (Cloud hosted voice solutions), and the new offering from Microsoft, Phone System, which integrates business calling options into Office 365, utilising its Teams platform.


Never far from the news, high profile breaches continued to make the headlines in 2019. One of the largest breaches in banking history saw the personal details of 106 million individuals across the US and Canada stolen in a hack targeting financial services firm Capital One.

In the continuing fight against cybercrime, companies are now looking to implement complementary solutions, opting for products that collaborate and ‘speak’ to each other, identifying weaknesses before they’ve escalated into more significant issues. It was a theme explored at Securetour, a series of live events taking place up and down the UK in the autumn.



Time is Running out for Windows 7

A key threat that's been growing over the year is the vulnerability created by Windows 7 end of support. Microsoft are retiring the product in its entirety on January 14, 2020, and there will no longer be any updates.

Cloud Service Specialist, Paul Gibbons, talks about January 2020's Windows 7 end of life, and what that means for businesses in a short video interview.


The Rise and Rise of Tech Leasing

The cost involved in a major device refresh programmes has been an increasing concern for many businesses, particularly when face with the compelling need to facilitate a move away from Windows 7. Uncertainty surrounding Britain's departure from the EU has added to economic nervousness.  

The increase in opportunities to lease, rather than buy, hardware has come at an opportune time. Built on an OPEX rather than CAPEX model, leasing devices means that businesses can equip their people with the tech they need, without impacting capital reserves. It’s a market that's steadily growing, with additional services including Remote Monitoring and Management tools being included, in a Device-as-a-Service offering.


What's Next?

Predictions for 2020 include an accelerated drive to digital transformation and cloud adoption, an explosion in the creation of Apps and further developments in AI.

In this fast-moving and changing environment, hitting your 2020 objectives will call for constant innovation in the way your business operates.

To ensure you’ve got the right tools to embrace new challenges, it’s crucial to invest in the right technology and expertise. With so many suppliers and cloud options to choose from, figuring out what’s best for your business is no easy task.

Chess is a UK leading technology solutions provider, helping organisations grow, through proven technology and expert advice. We design and implement solutions across Voice & Connectivity, Cloud, Devices and Security. This allows you to grow and work from anywhere, safeguard your organisation and connect with your customers and stakeholders with ease. Get in touch to discuss your plans for 2020 and ensure that you have the technical and professional support you require to meet the challenges for 2020.