Awe­some speed of the mo

There has been an as­ton­ish­ing up­take of mo­bile de­vices to go on­line in Scot­land, re­veals

The Herald Business - - Con­nected Coun­try -

IT IS no se­cret that an in­creasi ng num­ber of us are con­duct­ing our lives on­line these days. How­ever, new Of­com re­search shows that peo­ple in Scot­land are tak­ing up smart­phones at a faster rate than any other UK na­tion, ris­ing by 17 per­cent­age points in a year to 62 per cent in 2014.

Fur­ther­more, an as­ton­ish­ing 56 per cent of Scots used their mo­bile de­vices to ac­cess the in­ter­net in 2014 – an in­crease of 12 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

The re­search also re­veals the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of tablet de­vices in Scot­land. By the be­gin­ning of 2014, 42 per cent of house­holds owned a tablet, such as an iPad or Kin­dle Fire, an 18 per­cent­age point an­nual in­crease.

This grow­ing trend for smart­phones and tablets her­alds a new dig­i­tal era. Liv­ing rooms and of­fices now act as me­dia-hubs for tech-savvy con­sumers who are in­creas­ingly multi-task­ing. Mo­bile de­vices of­fer f l ex­i­bil­ity and mod­ern work en­vi­ron­ments are no longer con­strained to of­fices.

BT has found that 42 per cent of the stan­dard work­ing week is ac­tu­ally spent out­side of the tra­di­tional of­fice or away from desks, while half of those in a re­cent sur­vey re­ported us­ing mo­bile phones as much in the of­fice as they do out of it. In fact, up to 41 per cent of work-re­lated phone calls are now be­ing made and taken via mo­bile phones. The re­search also shows the “al­ways on­line” cul­ture is spread- ing, with al­most half of those sur­veyed ad­mit­ting to tak­ing work calls while in bed, and 39 per cent re­veal­ing they have taken work calls at a fam­ily oc­ca­sion.

Al­most all re­spon­dents sim­ply can­not “switch off ”, with an as­ton­ish­ing 79 per cent con­fess­ing to work­ing while on an­nual leave, and nearly three in five ad­mit­ting to feel­ing pres­sure to be con­tactable out­side of work­ing hours.

In re­sponse, BT has launched the BT One Phone, a ser­vice that brings to­gether all of a com­pany’s of­fice phone sys­tem and mo­bile phone needs into a sin­gle ser­vice, hosted in the Cloud and de­liv­ered on a mo­bile phone.

The ser­vice, which works by in­sert­ing a BT One Phone SIM to any mo­bile, al­lows calls made to land­lines, ex­ten­sions or mo­biles to be di­rected to one sin­gle mo­bile phone – al­low­ing em­ploy­ees to stay in touch at all times.

The ser­vice will run on a ded­i­cated mo­bile net­work in­stalled in a busi­ness’s premises – any SIMen­abled phone can au­to­mat­i­cally con­nect.

When an em­ployee leaves the of­fice there’s a seam­less han­dover be­tween t heir of­fice mo­bile net­work and the BT Mo­bile na­tional net­work – giv­ing em­ploy­ees the free­dom to work with to­tal flex­i­bil­ity, from any­where.

With more than five mil­lion BT wi-fi hotspots na­tion­wide and a new part­ner­ship with EE – who pro­vide the best 2G and 3G cov­er­age in the UK, as well as the best 4G net­work – the new BT One Phone will of­fer great po­ten­tial to SMEs.

BT has also an­nounced that new busi­ness mo­bile con­nec­tions will now come with 4G ac­cess and un­lim­ited BT wi-fi as stan­dard and at no ex­tra cost.

The “al­ways on­line” cul­ture is not just lim­ited to the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. In­creased mo­bil­ity so­cially is a key driv­ing fac­tor, with Of­com re­search in­di­cat­ing

62 per cent of UK cit­i­zens now own a smart­phone and 42 per cent own tablet de­vices. Home broad­band take-up is con­tin­u­ing to thrive, with 76 per cent of Scot­tish house­holds now ben­e­fit­ing, against a UK na­tional av­er­age of 77 per cent.

In­deed, dig­i­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion is at an all-time high, and is con­tin­u­ing to rise with a va­ri­ety of ini­tia­tives in place to boost in­clu­sion.

Glas­gow Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (GHA), which is part of Wheat­ley Group, is one or­gan­i­sa­tion that is lead­ing the way, with the in­tro­duc­tion of a £70,000 Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment-backed pro­ject to de­liver af­ford­able and ef­fi­cient wi-fi ac­cess to ten­ants in a GHA t ower- block i n t he West of Glas­gow.

The pro­ject, be­lieved to be the first of its kind in Europe, has seen each of the 138 homes in Knightswood’s Kirk­ton Av­enue

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