The next big move for Internet and mobile connectivity: 5G

You remember 3G, have fully embraced the mobile connectivity of 4G and now you might have heard of 5G. 5G will be the next big step in telecommunications-based internet connectivity beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards which you may even be using to read this blog post right now.

What makes 5G special is that it will have a higher capacity than current 4G, allowing for a higher density of mobile broadband users and support device-to-device, or M2M communications in a way that 4G currently can’t.

Latency is also something that 5G, once launched will improve upon as compared with 4G, along with lower battery consumption on devices, which means that theoretically devices such as phones and tablets will need to be charged less frequently. 5G research and development is currently underway and the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance has a strict list of criteria which the new 5G standard should fill.

Some of the elements of the new standard are faster data rates (unsurprisingly), being able to send 1GB per second to many workers on the same floor simultaneously, many hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections for wireless sensors and enhanced spectral efficiency.

On top of the faster speeds which 5G will offer, it’s also predicted that 5G will meet the needs of completely new use cases, such as the Internet of Things (internet connected devices) and broadcast-like services alongside offering lifeline communications for emergency relief applications.

Excited? We are too, but we’ll have to wait, because a lot of research and development is still taking place and 5G roll out isn’t planned to begin until 2020. The implications that 5G will have on virtual offices and remote working will be enormous.


Real estate matters less than ever with cloud rendering and virtual offices

The animation side of the business at Jellyfish Pictures has grown rapidly in the past three years. It is the speed of change that provides more challenges than the size itself. The VFX side of the business exists at an office near Oxford Circus where up to 50 artists are working. Then, the animation side of Jellyfish, which employs in the region of 150 people is spread across Brixton and two offices located in Oval which are new and pioneering ‘virtual office’ technology.

Jellyfish Pictures has worked tirelessly to make the entire company work via one virtualised central network – this means whichever location you’re in, you have access to the same drives and same network at the same speed. Therefore, the virtual office model means some businesses like Jellyfish can set up a studio pretty much anywhere at any size, if enough bandwidth is provided by network suppliers.

Jellyfish Pictures’ Oval location is a prime example of a successful ‘virtual office’ with Zero clients under each desk which take the place of conventional computers and instead communicate seamlessly with systems based elsewhere. By developing virtualised offices across three locations, Jellyfish is able to operate as if all the work is taking place under a single roof.

Apart from the infrastructure challenges of finding space in London (where real estate is the most expensive in the world) fast growth has created some interesting new difficulties to overcome. One difficulty which all businesses in the VFX and Animation sector face is managing rendering processes which can take up a lot of physical space with an on-premises set up and projects sometimes require more power than a local, on-premises render farm can deliver.

With strict client deadlines to contend with, the importance of being able to access secure, reliable, on-demand rendering solutions is a dream come true for businesses like Jellyfish. It’s as simple as taking advantage of cloud rendering on a pay-on-demand model whenever the capacity of the on-premises render farm comes up insufficient for all the work flowing through the studio.

With cloud rendering solutions, like virtual office solutions, it matters much less where a studio is located and what size the facilities are because the main thrust of technological power is being piped in from elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether other businesses will also be early adopters when it comes to cloud rendering and virtual offices, but it is clear to see that not innovating and pushing boundaries (as Jellyfish Pictures has done) could result in competitors failing to future-proof their businesses.