IN A NUTSHELL 34/2019-20
PLUS LAUNCHES 5G. NO GOOGLE SERVICES, MIND YOU
Many people fear change and it should not come as a surprise that new technologies are often seen as pure evil. Yet, few innovations in recent history have raised so many controversies as 5G. Conspiracy theories pictured 5G first as a source of cancer, more recently as a tool of spreading the coronavirus. The scandal with Huawei, which is the world leader of the technology, did not help, either (a quick reminder: the USA accused Huawei of spying which made it impossible for it to cooperate with American technological giants). All credible sources, however, point out that 5G is completely safe. From now on, citizens of the first seven cities in Poland – Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Lódź, Poznań, Szczecin and Wrocław — are able to experience 5G first hand as Plus launches the technology as the first service provider in our country. For now Plus is ready to offer 5G to some 900 thousand customers, but soon another 2 million people will have access to it. At least according to official declarations, the connection speed is stunning – 600 Mb/s compared to 20-25 Mb/s delivered by the current standard, LTE. At this moment we have to come back to the beginning of the article and the USA – Huawei conflict. For the time being the only devices in the offer of Plus ready to use 5G are all produced by the said Chinese giant, which means the clients who want to have really fast Internet in their mobile phones will have to do without… Google services. Yes, all Google services, including Gmail, YouTube and Google’s app store, Play. Huawei offers an alternative called Huawei Mobile Services instead. Will this be enough to attract clients?
THE WORLD AFTER PANDEMIC: PART 2
Welcome to the sequel of predictions “How will the pandemic impact our world in the longer perspective?” (also based on Business Insider’s raport). Please keep in mind all these ones are just possibilities, not certainties. The personalisation of production called “Production on demand” will become reality. It is a concept of making exactly what is needed for single customers. Here the 3D printers may play a big role. In the last years many industries created supply chains going through many countries — now they will have to modify them, often locating the whole process inside just one. It will boost the automation not only of the production lines, but also warehouses and delivery mechanisms. The labour market will go in the opposite direction. Most of the work performed in offices can be done from everywhere. And thanks to the newly discovered methods of teleworking teams can be created from people all over the world. If we add the fact that metropolises are more endangered by epidemics due to their denser population, the idea of e-province quickly joins the game. Communication methods are lowering the need of travelling to work, so are save time. Which, in turn, can be spent on taking care of ourselves, in both physical and psychological aspects. Many people started developing new skills, like baking bread or sewing. It will make us more independent. Thanks to the saved time people can become more aware about the environment around. The concepts of eco-friendly societies are already appearing. Working from home is also an interesting option for parents, allowing them to work and stay with kids at the same time. After the whole companies and single workers had found themselves in this work mode, many will like to stay with it after the lockdown ends. The companies can limit numbers of business trips, and replace them with e-meetings. This trend can also apply to private contacts. People are already rethinking what do they really need. Even in the simplest aspects, like grocery shoppings. We observe many charity movements, for example making and donating masks to the hospitals. Also many businesses are involved in such actions. This way a civil society is being built. As a negative side, right now the debt of public finances is growing quickly, and after the pandemic expenses on health care will rise, so we can expect new taxes to compensate them.
HOTEL OWNER TAKES HUGE LOAN TO HELP EMPLOYEES
Some of the best-known Polish hotels – Hotele Gołębiewski — have been closed since mid-March and, despite the removal of government restrictions, will remain closed until the end of May. According to Tadeusz Gołębiewski (the company’s owner), there is no point in opening them if there are no catering or entertainment outlets at the same time. This would only mean the option of sitting in the room, excluding other attractive options such as swimming in the pools which are often present in these hotels or even going to the hotels’ restaurants. However, such decision comes with some costs. In addition, the hotel owner decided not to fire any of the approximately 1,000 employees due to financial problems caused by the pandemic. Even more — he said he would continue to pay each of them their full salary. Now, as you can imagine, the costs associated with this whole operation are enormous. In order to maintain the work places for three months and cover the costs associated with all this, he will need PLN 30 million. However, the businessman did not have enough funds for this, he was forced not only to take a huge loan, but also to pledge his personal property, not even leaving out his home. In one of the interviews, Tadeusz Gołębiewski revealed that he would repay the loan for up to three years. This means that the chain will not be making any improvements in hotels or renovations in the near future. Additionally, despite a positive thought, he confessed that he was preparing for a possible bankruptcy.
AUSTRALIA’S „GRAY NOMADS” RACING AGAINST TIME
It’s not easy, but turn on your abstract thinking for a moment and imagine a pre-corona reality. In it imagine Val Atherton, a woman in her early 70s and a retired real estate agent who decides to do what a lot of Australians her age do: abandon the cosy suburban lifestyle and travel across the country in a camper van for months (or years – she wasn’t sure) to make the best out of her retirement. [There’s even a name for people like her in Australia: the gray nomads. On average 120,000 to 160,000 of them travel domestically each year!] Solely for the purpose of the trip (or so she thought) Val gets back with her husband Dan (they had separated 23 years earlier!) to hit the road together. 10 days into their trip, the world – with Australia in it – starts shutting down and they begin a mad drive home. „For 10 days, we drove, refueled, pulled into a van park, slept and then drove again.” After 6500km they were ecstatic to be back home. And yes, there’s a romantic angle to this story: Val and Dan are now properly back together after 23 years and ready to hit the road again as soon as domestic travel restrictions ease: to squeeze the most out of their days on Earth while helping their home country’s tourism industry to bounce back. Because when the country (dare we say: the world) reopens „…self-drive and road trips will certainly be a key focus which as we know are segments very popular with the gray nomad market,” according to Phillipa Harrison, managing director of Tourism Australia.
- People will want to buy phones with no Google services but faster Internet.
- Globalisation is a bad idea, we should make things locally.
- Companies should take loans to keep workers and market position.
- Travelling is the best way to spend your retirement.