By Alan Jones, CEO, Blu Wireless
Over 2022 we have seen the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and a huge increase in energy costs. It is fair to say we are living in turbulent times.
Stemming from these global issues, we have seen tech companies big and small becoming far more conservative when it comes to their operational spend. Even the big tech giants have needed to tighten their belts – redundancies at Twitter and Meta being a case in point.
As we look ahead to next year, I believe we will also see research and development spending cut back by not only the big tech companies but also SMEs; particularly considering the recent announcement of the cut in R&D tax credits for small businesses by the UK Government. As a result of this, future-looking technologies may not be as aggressive in their roll-out timeframes.
We can also expect to see many companies returning to what they know will generate revenue – the tried and tested solutions.
The year of the private network
As I reflect on the past year, I am proud of what we have achieved at Blu Wireless: we have made considerable progress towards our strategic goals; and most importantly, we remain focused on delivering value to customers every day through our products and services.
Due to the diversity of our business and because of the markets in which we operate in, we have seen an increase in interest in our defence-specialist IEEE mmWave technology, which enables robust connectivity even when operating under demanding conditions that require technology that is quite different to what the average consumer needs.
We have also seen an increase in interest in our mmWave technology for the rail industry. During the pandemic, rail operators were severely impacted as people were forced to reduce their travel. But now, in the second half of this year, we have really started to see rail increase in our pipeline again.
In fact, in 2022 we delivered a world-first, track-to-train application using lightweight, inexpensive trackside infrastructure to build a multi-gigabit, wireless network.
What this of course comes back to is the use of private wireless networks, which our mmWave technology facilitates for defence, high-speed transport, ports, airports, and other industries. From what we have already seen this year, we can expect accelerated growth in the deployment of private wireless networks, particularly in sectors such as high-speed transport and defence.
6G research will be vital
The evolution clearly doesn’t stop with 5G though, and we are very much gearing up for the next generation of wireless networks – 6G.
There is a clear danger that those countries that do not invest in 6G research in 2023 may be left behind in the manufacturing and technology economy, while others that do invest steam ahead. So, my sincere hope would be that the UK Government invests heavily in 6G research funding next year and beyond.
With 6G the data rate is expected to be 10 times the speed of 5G. But, what is also needed is 10 times the investment.
Through a combination of more efficient use of the substantial amounts of spectrum available in the mmWave bands (up to 100+ GHz), and decentralised intelligent mesh networks, 6G could provide the revolution businesses need, particularly when it comes to the uplink of vast quantities of data from devices such as sensors or CCTV.
Our key priorities for 2023
From a Blu Wireless perspective, we have a lot to be positive about as we head into 2023.
Our focus as a business will be on converting some exciting pilots we have been undertaking for product development, into commercial volumes.
We will focus on ensuring recurring product revenues as well as getting our technology out to businesses and into the hands of the end user. We are excited about our future and look forward to bringing you more great news from Blu Wireless throughout 2023!