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