During 2015 EE has worked with a variety of public services to deploy 4G solutions that address specific pressures and enable services to be delivered more efficiently.
EE has been working with emergency services, the NHS, and social housing providers to provide a range of 4G solutions including Connected Vehicle, 4G Rapid Site, and Connected Health. Let’s take a look at each of these solutions in more detail:
Connected Vehicle is a solution that turns vehicles such as cars and vans into wireless hotspots using an industrial 4G router and powerful high gain antenna. These moving hotspots can be used to wirelessly connect standard devices such as tablets and laptops or specialised devices such as ambulance EKG machines. For the emergency services the ability to connect mobile devices via 4G hotspots gives remote access to critical systems, cuts down time spent on administration, and allows front-line workers to spend more time in the field.
According to Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner, Staffordshire, “The ongoing roll-out of mobile technology to officers is helping to free up an extra 250,000 hours of police time to be out on the beat, the equivalent of over an extra 100 officers on duty. Deploying 4G connected devices has already boosted efficiency, in some cases allowing officers to cut administrative time on jobs that could take days down to minutes. By providing high speed connectivity in vehicles as well, we’ll be able to turn their police vehicles into hotspots – giving officers, support teams, and in the future partners, vital access to information on the move.”
4G Rapid Site
4G Rapid Site from EE is a 4G broadband service that allows building firms to gain internet access in under three days. Having a fixed broadband line installed and provisioned can take over a month so this quick alternative enables building work to begin more quickly, improving the cost-efficiency of housing construction. Building firms are under increasing pressure to speed up the construction process while also reducing costs, due to an overall lack of housing, so the possibility of using 4G on-site almost instantly is very welcome.
According to Colin Bloodworth, Head of Development Services at GreenSquare, home builders for social housing, “If we can get working on a site without waiting for a fixed broadband connection, then we can save money and start building more homes – it’s that simple. And being connected reduces contractor rates, reduces travel costs, improves carbon footprint, and gives an overall improved productivity.”
Using 4G within the NHS could help limit waste and reduce the current deficit. For example, improved communication between patients and primary or secondary carers could cut missed and unnecessary appointments by up to 65%, potentially saving £585 million spend. EE is already working with GPs and NHS trusts to provide 4G connectivity. They are trialling a number of applications including GP Patient and Clinical Observation as well as launching mobile interactive messaging services.
According to Dr. Magnus Harrison, Executive Medical Director Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, “Patients deserve to have the very best experience at every stage of their journey, and technology is a vital enabler for this. We must use mobile and digital technologies to break down barriers in healthcare, allowing us to better engage with our patients, to give them the most appropriate care, and to do that more efficiently and cost-effectively.”