Ten years after the launch of the iPhone, the country’s future business people, politicians and engineers are approaching adulthood with the Internet in their pocket. A phalanx of adolescents don’t remember a time when the squeal of a modem was the prelude to a pedestrian experience; it wasn’t so much surfing as watching the waves from a beach hut wrapped in a blanket. They take for granted instant, high-capacity communication on handsets that are intuitive and responsive.
“I hope plenty of them do become engineers because they might start to realise what we have to go through to provide their services,” says ATDI operations director Paul Grant. “To everybody outside our industry, it’s all just magic. To those in the business, it’s precision in planning and modelling combined with investment in infrstructure and generally some political hurdles as well.”
Data traffic grew by a factor of 100,000 between 2000 and 2005; 350-fold in the next five years and by a factor of 18 in 2010 to 2015. An eight-fold rise is predicted for the current five-year period.
“All of us in the radiocommunications industry are the unsung heroes and heroines making all this happen,” Paul comments. “Nobody knows who we are but they would sorely miss us if we weren’t here.”