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Technology Update with e3 systems

I hope everyone is enjoying the Hot August Nights!  We’ve just got past the point of no return now, when the night-time temperature doesn’t cool down enough to exist with just open windows and fans.

Our esteemed editor, Simon, has headed off to northern Spain’s Atlantic coast to drink red wine and eat fab seafood in the evening whilst wearing a fleece!  What a sensible chap he is, touring in a motor home, now considered the next best isolation holiday to yachting.  If you’re reading this, I am pleased to say his mobile communications must be working well!  We don’t provide mobile data communications for yachts only.

Important news for rugby fans!

As you will have seen a lot of “crowd less” sport fixtures are back on and, being a rugby fan, I was really pleased to hear that the 2020 Six Nations tournament is going to be completed with Ireland vs Italy on 24th October and the final round on the weekend of 30th October! That’s in my diary.

The latest Vodafone Spain 5G news

I hesitate to write about 5G again after I condemned a number of the 5G conspiracy theories in the July issue, as someone made the effort to come to my office to tell me that all these theories are in fact true!  However, I’ll mention some more facts.  The map below shows the new Vodafone 5G coverage in Palma. An interesting map as it shows a significant amount of the coverage is at sea in front of the cathedral.  Considering new services are introduced for people to test and use this seems strange as it’s a yacht anchorage and training area for Real Club Nautico Optimists!  The map is from the Vodafone Spain website!  Vodafone Spain have switched on small areas with 5G service in areas of dense population for trials, including, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, but that’s about it for now.

What does 4G, LTE, LTE-A and 5G do for you?

 We have been using 4G and 4G LTE for some years now which provides a maximum bandwidth speed of 150Mbps, but only if you are standing under the cell tower.  Realistically it’s around 15Mbps with a latency of 50ms. This realistic speed varies depending on the network coverage, the number of people connected in your vicinity and the device you are using.

The main advantage that 5G offers over 4G LTE is faster speeds and lower latency.  The max performance of 5G is 1 to 10Gbps if you are alongside the antenna, but realistically 50Mbps with 10ms latency.

Latency is the time it takes to respond, ably demonstrated by the time it takes a remote reporter in the desert to answer a question from the studio on the TV news. The lower the latency means the response time is faster.  This is essential when fast response is essential such as for gaming, trading and everything in the IoT (Internet of Things) space.

While 4G LTE relies upon relatively few large antenna masts that are built miles apart, 5G requires lots of small cells much closer together. These mini 5G base stations may be placed on top of streetlights or on the sides of buildings every few hundred feet in urban areas. Logistically, building a network like this is going to be a challenge, it’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to take time, which is why only small areas are being activated at a time.  This is because 5G only has a range of a few hundred metres and it doesn’t penetrate walls.

Just because 5G is rolling out doesn’t mean that 4G is finished or that it has stopped evolving. The latest top 4G technology to be developed is LTE-A (Long Term Evolution Advanced) and it promises 1Gbps speeds, though the realistic average will likely be comparable to the lower end of 5G.  LTE-A Pro, is also evolving which promises 3Gbps speeds.

Should you consider moving to 5G?

 As 5G has a limited range it has intentionally been designed to co-exist with 4G LTE.

The truth is it’s not about the technology it’s about the service being delivered.  For many if you have good LTE coverage right now you probably won’t see a lot of benefit of switching to 5G.

To recap, the benefit of 5G is increased speed and improved latency but the downside is the reduced range.

Our blastingly fast recommended solution for yachts

 Firstly, you will not get a 5G signal more than 200 metres from a 5G cell so from a yacht to shore, unless it’s in a port within 200 metres of a cell, it’s not possible.  You will either get poor performance or it will fail-over to 4G LTE to make the connection.

So, it’s best to use 4G LTE to achieve the range required.  How do you get a 4G LTE service to perform like 5G?

 To do this we recommend a combined 4x cellular 4G LTE-A 4xMIMO bandwidth bonding solution which will provide realistic speeds of around 140Mbps upload and 350Mbps download with a latency of about 10ms when using the correct antennas and our Big Data SIMs. When you consider that 5G will realistically perform at 50Mbps with a latency of 10ms, it’s a no-brainer as you get the range with the same or better performance. The solution is 5G ready and features hot swappable radios when they become available.

All our BIG DATA SIM tariffs are future proofed for 5G.

 Meet Amanda Davis – Management Accountant

Originally from Coventry, England, Amanda moved to Mallorca in September 2005 and has been working for e3 since October of the same year.  Almost 15 years!

Prior to working for e3, she was in the UK and gained 10 years of relevant accounting experience.

Amanda’s role as a Management Accountant at e3 is to produce accurate consolidated monthly accounting results within a timely manner for internal use, thus helping to drive the business’s overall management and strategy.  Amanda is heavily involved with budgeting, compliance audits, assessments of internal controls and the management of the general ledger.

Amanda finds challenges in the constant changes to IVA/VAT rules.  IVA/VAT rules in the yachting industry are always slightly more complex with so many different scenarios to consider. She believes that having a knowledgeable accounting team ensures that the best solutions are put into place.

She is looking forward to taking our reporting to the next level, allowing the Directors to make even more strategic company decisions that will benefit both the company and the client.

Amanda believes that our relaunched customer portal, my.e3s.com, is a big USP for e3 as customers can view and request their services, transaction history and also make secure payments online.  We are also PCI-DSS compliant which gives our customers the confidence that all their credit card information is secure.

Quoting directly from Amanda, “My personal highlights are having such a wonderful team around me, whom I can rely on and trust with any project or situation. And seeing and being part of the growth in e3 over the past 15 years is something that I am proud of.”

Amanda is known by her colleagues for her love of camping.  Given the opportunity, she’d go every weekend as she says, “the peace and quiet, the limited (or not) use of devices and the sound of opening a can of San Miguel is living the dream for me!”

Roger Horner

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