Making O2 5G a reality – Bryony Grimes
Here at O2, we are very excited about the possibilities of 5G and its potential to change the way we live and work. The rollout of our 5G network is well underway and is now available in areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds. By the end of the year, we’re aiming to bring our 5G network to parts of 20 towns and cities, before rolling out to a total of 50 by summer 2020.
Behind O2’s 5G rollout is a dedicated and diverse team of people, even more excited than the rest of us about the benefits that 5G will bring.
Meet one of our 5G team’s graduate recruits, Bryony Grimes.
What do you do at O2? What part of the 5G delivery are you involved in?
I work in the Technology Strategy Team, and I help the 5G team identify use cases that showcase the power of 5G, and its associated benefits of low latency, high data throughput and greater reliability. Working on these use cases with our customers has helped us to understand the reality of what this next generation network can deliver.
How did you end up doing what you do, and why O2?
I graduated last summer with a Languages degree, so my journey into technology hasn’t been entirely typical. I’ve been interested in technology for a long time though. While studying, I worked as a snow-sports journalist, writing about the technology transforming the industry.
I joined the technology graduate scheme in September 2018, and quickly became part of O2’s 5G ecosystem. O2 was an easy choice for me when making a career choice, having admired the company culture and its progressive, inclusive and innovative approach to tech.
What do you see as the biggest impact that 5G will have?
Latency – the goal is for it to be lower than a millisecond, which would enable us to deliver a connected world that just hasn’t been possible before.
By eliminating delays, we can realise the potential of technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and drones. 5G has the potential to enhance our lives immeasurably, and its value will be felt by everyone, whether in healthcare, transport, energy efficiencies, connectivity or mobility.
What’s different about 5G through your eyes?
5G is about industry. Of course, we as consumers will all enjoy faster download speeds, but the biggest benefits will be afforded to our national infrastructure and our economy. 5G will allow us to tackle British businesses’ daily frustrations with exciting, innovative solutions and reimagine how every sector will operate.
What gets you energised in the morning for the day ahead?
Having studied languages, I get immense pleasure from learning something new every day – big or small. The same applies to my work in technology (and coming from a non-technical background I have a lot to learn!).
Outside of work, my morning yoga routine helps to wake up my mind and body for the day ahead!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I’d like to think I’m a patient person, but slow-loading web pages are a sure way to make my blood boil.
What’s been your proudest achievement so far in your career?
I was put forward for the ITP’s Graduate of the Year Award, which was a huge honour. Alongside that my proudest achievement was organising a knowledge-sharing workshop for O2’s Executive Board on a critical future technology.
What’s the one small thing in life that always makes you smile?
Those genuine, small acts of kindness we are all capable of and often do without thinking. Oh, and good coffee.
How do you see your role evolving in the future?
I anticipate that the work I do will always be about the art of the possible. With technologies such as machine learning covering the more menial of my daily tasks, I will have more time to focus on whatever are the new and emerging technologies at the time.
How do you switch off and wind down?
I’m a bookworm, so getting lost in a good book for an hour (or two!) is a sure-fire way for me to forget the stresses of work. Otherwise, a session on the yoga mat, a long drive or any time spent outdoors helps to clear my head.
How long would you survive a full digital detox for?
Up until a few weeks ago I would have said no more than ten minutes, but in June I took part in a week–long adventure break to build my leadership and teamwork skills in the Lake District. With little network coverage and limited access to wifi, I was surprised that after just a day I could easily leave my phone in my room in favour of escaping up a mountain, fully detached from the digital world!
What are you most excited about that the future will bring (tech or non-tech)?
I’m looking forward to doing everything remotely – from viewing a house or signing a contract, to talking to my GP. It’ll mean that we get to choose how we spend our valuable time and who we spend it with.
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