Launch of GC79 PC wireless PC Card Modem will free office workers (www.freeofficeworkers.com)
According to new research by Sony Ericsson, by 2020 offices of the future will be more like Friends-style coffee shops or a living room at home, with desks and PCs making way for wireless networks, laptops, big comfy sofas and coffee tables.
Most of the UK’s prestigious offices will be nothing more than glorified lounges as planners and designers fill work spaces with ‘wireless hotspots’ and hot desks for transient workers to connect to the internet in ‘brain storm zones’, and hi-tech Wi-Fi libraries, with separate meeting areas for doing deals, socialising and office flirting.
The study – “Business Life 2020” – written by social trends expert, James Harkin, concludes that office buildings such as Canary Wharf and Sir Norman Foster’s “Erotic Gherkin” will lose their hi-tech open plan layouts, while bland 1980s-style cubicles – typified by BBC TV series The Office – will make way for Friends-style Central Perk coffee shops with sofa-strewn ‘business zones’.
The research marks the launch of Sony Ericsson’s GC79 PC Card Modem – the world’s first combined tri-band GPRS and Wi-Fi PC Card – which slots into most laptop computers and gives access to the internet, emails and corporate network from anywhere, anytime. Sony Ericsson developed the GC79 GPRS and Wi-Fi PC Card to address the demand and growing trend for mobile flexible working.
Harkin also demonstrates how flexible wireless technology will free desk-bound workers to get them out of the office enabling them to work wherever and whenever they choose. He identifies a new breed of high-powered cosmopolitan business professional called "Cosmocrats" who will emerge as the ultimate plugged in digital citizens who take advantage of low-priced private jets to continent hop on behalf of multinationals when seeking out new business, or managing client relationships.
Cosmocrats will rely on the new generation of wireless technology, such as the dual connection GC79 PC Card Modem, which combines the pervasiveness of GPRS mobile coverage with the power of a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection. Workers can stay connected anywhere as the GC79 works outside of ‘hot spots’ in hotel lobbies, coffee shops and airport lounges – from a mountain ski lodge in Switzerland to a beach in the Bahamas or an exotic resort in Thailand.
The easy-to-use, affordable GC79 PC Card Modem converts ‘dead time’ into ‘up time’ across five continents, operating at maximum speeds of up to 11Mbps in public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as airport lounges, cafés, trains, offices – and soon, on aeroplanes. Where Wi-Fi is unavailable users can easily use GPRS for internet connection or HSCSD to dial into intranet or corporate networks.
Key findings of James Harkin’s mobile working study and forecast:
•Mobile professionals now account for some 48% of the workforce in Europe*.
•The majority of mobile office workers want the freedom to manipulate documents on the move and be able to send them instantly over the Internet.
•By 2010 the daily commuter grind could be a thing of the past if businesses offer workers flexible tools to work from anywhere.
•Freedom to work from anywhere will increase job satisfaction, morale and increase staff loyalty and retention.
•The office of today will become redundant and will evolve with the look and feel of a coffee shop or lounge that workers visit for brainstorms or social interaction.
•The next 20 years will see the birth of the global commuter or Cosmocrat as the office workers take advantage of low-price private jets to country or continent hop.
The GC79 utilises wireless LAN 802.11b, a wireless radio technology, which is experiencing tremendous market growth. Already the most frequently used Wireless LAN (WLAN) standard worldwide, it provides very good performance with a distance of typically 100 m (300 ft) from the access point. The GC79 GPRS/WLAN PC Card Modem is Wi-Fi certified, which lets users easily access public hotspots.
The built-in antenna of the GC79 PC Card Modem lets users keep it in the laptop at all times giving convenient, instant access - and because it is powered by the user’s laptop, no extra chargers or cables are needed.
Anders Franzén, Corporate Vice President and Head of Sony Ericsson M2M Communications Unit: “The future of office work will be revolutionised by wireless tools that will change the face of offices and will give workers the freedom to be productive where-ever and when-ever they choose. Our GC79 PC Card Modem is launching in response to this change. It is a fast, reliable global wireless communication tool. Sony Ericsson recognises the explosive growth of Wi-Fi and is providing consumers with a flexible and mobile solution today, that guarantees they stay connected and work smarter not harder tomorrow.”
More information about Free Office Workers campaign and GC79 PC Card Modem can be found at www.freeofficeworkers.com and www.sonyericsson.com/GC79.
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Notes to editors
*according to IDC report 2002. IDC defines mobile professionals as employees who travel away from their offices at least 20% of the time. These employees typically are high-ranking executives, consultants, sales reps, insurance agents, and pharmaceutical reps.
For more information and images please contact:
Sony Ericsson Corporate Communications
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 762 5858
Sony Ericsson UK Marketing Manager
+44 (0) 1252 551668
Notes to editors:
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB offers mobile communications products for people who appreciate the possibilities of powerful technology. Established in 2001 by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson and Sony Corporation, the joint venture continues to build on the success of its two innovative parent companies. Sony Ericsson creates value for its operator customers by bringing new ways of using multimedia communications while mobile. The company’s management is based in London, and has 4,000 employees across the globe working on research, development, design, sales, marketing, distribution and support.
For further information, please visit: www.freeofficeworkers.com
James Harkin is a writer, social forecaster and the author of Mobilisation: The growing public interest in mobile technology. (Demos, 2003).
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