Manchester has always been at the forefront of tech innovation, dating all the way back to 1948 when the first stored program computer was invented at The University of Manchester. Known as the birthplace of nuclear physics, Manchester has been renowned for groundbreaking discoveries such as how to split an atom and the development of graphene. Today, Manchester is dubbed as the UK’s ‘top digital tech city’, attracting significant investments and housing some of the world’s leading organisations.
Manchester’s Tech Boom
In 2022, Manchester-based startups secured a staggering £532 million in investment – the second highest in the UK, after London. Many leading brands and tech companies like Auto Trader and Access Pay are headquartered here, and more are following suit. Deloitte’s Manchester Crane Survey further highlights the city’s growth, with the amount of office space created in the city in 2022 boomed, coming in higher than the last 1 years’ average. As the UK witnesses a rise in employee relocation, Manchester is viewed as one of the most popular cities to move to. It’s clear the city’s growing tech hub is emerging as a rival to London.
However, as our city evolves and companies of all shapes and sizes continue to set up shop here in Manchester, our tech and connectivity infrastructure need a face lift. And fast. Despite its status as a leading tech hub, Manchester came third in the UK for the worst level of public broadband outages in 2022, according to USwitch. The lack of government funding for digital connectivity for the North, especially in rural areas, has contributed largely to this challenge.
Modern Workplaces Demand More
In today’s world of business, reliable, high-speed internet is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Hybrid working has become the norm and 78% of tech companies in the North West are adopting this approach, according to data from the Digital Skills Audit.
The same applies to more advanced services too. The use of cloud-based applications, shared workplaces and other cloud services has also sky-rocketed in recent years, powering everything from customer service to web hosting and productivity tools. As we now know, cloud is an integral part of any organisation’s digital transformation, but for it to work properly, it requires a strong network connection.
Wireless is the Way Forward
To meet the growing demands of businesses, Manchester is undergoing an internet infrastructure overhaul. This includes the roll out of leased fibre lines which are dedicated, completely private connections supplied for the use of an individual subscriber. This means connection speeds are significantly faster than through a standard service as many utilise Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to ensure network traffic is routed efficiently and reliably.
Another example is the use of radio technology for internet connectivity. Radio can provide one of the most reliable forms of wireless connectivity for businesses as data is carried through the sky between two points via aerial signal – making it extremely resilient as a result. This is achieved though high-rise Point of Presence (PoP) sites that ensures maximum connectivity coverage for high density urban areas. And with a major push for radio connectivity across the Manchester skyline, it’s clear that wireless technology will continue to be a vital component for the region’s network connectivity infrastructure.
Manchester’s Path to Becoming a Northern Powerhouse
Manchester is on a growth trajectory to becoming one of the UK’s top tech hubs, but relying on outdated, shared network resources won’t be enough to take it there. Manchester must embrace wireless leased lines and radio connectivity. These solutions not only provide the flexibility and scalability required for growth but also ensure seamless access to critical applications and unified communications in the cloud, at any time. As Manchester continues its growth trajectory, upgrading its connectivity infrastructure will be key to sustaining its success in the digital age.