Tech experts predict satellite growth will deliver major changes to telecommunications this year

Can the technology rocketing from Florida into the atmosphere change rural connectivity?

Technology could impact all aspects of society, but perhaps the communications field most of all. That’s a prime finding of a new survey from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and will be top of mind as leaders of the organization attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year.

Leaders in tech fields see a massive increase in satellite technology, machinery that typically passes through Cape Canaveral before reaching orbit.

Eleanor Watson, a senior member of IEEE, predicted an increase in satellites will improve rural connectivity and help people develop wider perspectives on the world.

“Space satellites as a way to bring mobile connectivity to remote areas will be a game-changer because they enable leapfrogging off the need to build very expensive terrestrial infrastructure,” she said. “They’re also the ultimate virtual private network — ‘VPN’ — for extra-jurisdictional content access.”

The IEEE in October released a report called “The Impact of Technology in 2023 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study.” The results include responses from 350 chief technology officers, chief information officers and IT directors from the U.S., United Kingdom, China, India and Brazil about trends in electronics and technological innovation.

About 40% of those surveyed feel telecommunications will be heavily impacted by technology this year, with 39% pointing to automobiles and transportation, 33% seeing effects on energy and another 33% seeing changes to banking and financial services.

Not all of those fields will see change come in isolation. IEEE Senior Member Daozhuang Lin was quoted in the study on how the growth in the metaverse could impact energy use and the environment.

“Metaverse-related technology will be a major contributor to reducing carbon emissions because it allows technologists and engineers to perform simulations in cyberspace,” he said, “rather than relying on real-world demonstrations that run on traditional energy.”

Others see electric vehicles changing the landscape, with electrical charging stations growing as autonomous vehicles fill the roads. But other experts predict the biggest changes in tech will come with artificial intelligence leading to automation of many more industry activities than imagined in recent years.

Florida, of note, has led the way in recent years in preparing for EVs and AVs. The Sunshine State has more than 58,000 EVs already registered and driving state roads, the second-highest number of any state in the union.

Likely, a number of the areas discussed in the study could greatly impact policy discussions in Florida, whether that involves laying the foundation for 6G mobile communication networks, greater electrification networks for Florida vehicles or the use of cloud computing in public systems.

“Smart charging strategies and ways to coordinate EV charging can help mitigate some of the issues with power line and transformer overloading,” said IEEE member Kyrie Baker.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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