July was a tumultuous month for organizations throughout the technology sector, as headlines have been dominated by equal parts optimism and anxiety. While advancements in internet of things and wireless technologies have boded well for IT experts around the world, recent investigative actions by the U.S. Department of Justice could have severe repercussions for big tech moving forward. Balancing innovation and compliance has always been a bit of a pain point for IT companies, so it will be interesting to see how business leaders react to new opportunities and limitations moving forward. To that end, this month’s tech roundup spotlights some of the important technology trends pushing the market forward and discusses the DOJ’s decision to open an antitrust inquiry into top tech firms.
Gartner releases list of the top 10 wireless technologies
In late July, the global research and advisory firm Gartner released a new report highlighting the top 10 wireless technologies and trends that will likely have the biggest impact on consumer and enterprise environments over the next five years. The organization’s consistent focus on emergent and disruptive tech has been a valuable source of insight for hundreds of businesses around the world and has helped usher in digital transformation at scale. Gartner’s list will be presented in detail at its 2019 IT Symposium/Xpo, which will run from mid-September until late in October of this year.
Here are five of Gartner’s picks for the top wireless technologies and trends of 2019:
- Wi-Fi: Although Wi-Fi has been around since the late 90’s, Gartner predicts that this form of high-performance networking will undergo a significant overhaul between now and 2024. Researchers are optimistic about new use cases that have expanded the adaptability of Wi-Fi equipment beyond home and office, including radar systems and other industrial applications.
- 5G connectivity: The full rollout of 5G will likely take anywhere from five to eight years to complete, though commercial interest could help speed up the process – according to a 2018 survey from Gartner, more than 66% of organizations already have plans to deploy 5G by the end of 2020. Once implemented, 5G will be able to deliver high-speed data networking that far surpasses current systems.
- Vehicle-to-everything networking: The hype surrounding self-driving cars has not shown any signs of slowing down, prompting tech experts to reconceptualize how vehicles will communicate with one another and with fixed traffic control systems. Integrating V2X wireless capability into modern smart cars could help improve navigation support, passenger safety and more.
- Wireless sensing: From the very beginning, sensor technology has been the backbone of IoT innovation by enabling enterprises to collect and analyze a massive volume of environmental data. However, recent advancements in wireless sensing technology may be able to support more complex applications, such as indoor radar sensors for commercial robots and artificial intelligence systems.
- Low-power, wide-area networks: As companies continue to deploy more IoT devices, the need for reliable connectivity grows increasingly important. LPWA networks are built for low-bandwidth data transmission and power efficiency, which may help organizations (particularly in the manufacturing sector) scale up their digital operations and reduce their energy costs.
These technologies represent only a small portion of the key advancement areas tech firms are currently targeting. However, since connectivity and wireless data transmission are foundational to most modern innovations – from IoT to self-driving cars – they can serve as useful bellwethers for identifying where the tech sector is headed.
DOJ launches antitrust inquiry into leading tech firms
On July 23, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division announced a new inquiry into market-leading online platforms and whether their business activities have stifled competition, constrained innovation or negatively impacted consumers. The agency’s investigation was launched amidst public and commercial skepticism concerning the fairness of search engines, social media and online retail services. That said, the DOJ has clarified that it’s goal is to “assess the competitive conditions in the online marketplace” and determine whether top technology companies secured their market power through any unethical practices.
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, in the DOJ’s official press release. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”
The DOJ’s press release does not explicitly name any organizations it plans to review, but many expect Google, Facebook and Amazon will face scrutiny as the investigation unfolds. While it’s still unclear what the investigation may uncover, some critics worry that this inquiry marks the start of a new era in antitrust legislation. Considering Google holds more than 90% of the world’s search engine market share, as reported by Business Insider, there’s a strong possibility that the DOJ will dedicate significant resources to probing the tech giant’s commercial activities.
That concludes this month’s tech round-up, so be sure to check out Faronics’ blog to learn more about endpoint security and important trends in the industry.