The television adverts we see for 4G are generally aimed at consumers, focussing on music and video streaming, gaming, and online shopping, but actually one of the biggest benefits of 4G LTE connectivity will be to businesses.
Ben Dowd, business director for O2 UK, is well aware that the networks need to educate business about the possibilities that 4G can bring. He says, “We are trying to have a conversation where customers can get their heads around the sort of changes in business outcomes that can be achieved as a result of 4G, and I think that is where it is really brought to life.”
How 4G Can Benefit Businesses
The main benefit of 4G to businesses is the ability to quickly provide employees with access to large amounts of information, wherever they happen to be. A recent Vodafone survey indicated that 86% of business owners believe they can benefit from the in-office style experience that 4G can provide, although only 41% planned to make use of 4G within a year. Business models have changed and many employees work on the road, or from a variety of locations, so being able to stay connected in the same way they could if they were permanently in one office provides huge benefits or productivity.
The ability to stream high quality video is as beneficial to businesses as it is to consumers. Videoconferencing provides face to face contact without the time and expense of travelling to meetings, and 4G makes the use of this facility more realistic. According to Jonathan Kini, head of enterprise commercial marketing at Vodafone UK, “What we’ve spoken to a lot of our customers about is how 4G can provide a lot of that human contact through videoconferencing. People feel like they can actually be in many places at once.”
Another benefit of 4G for businesses is the ability to set up high-speed connectivity quickly and for a limited period of time, rather than installing a fixed line service. In a recent post about the Huawei B593 4G router we saw that this piece of equipment is recommended for temporary offices, construction sites, and pop-up shops that don’t want the hassle and expense of fixed line broadband.
How Emergency Services are Using 4G
The possibilities that 4G data transfer can bring aren’t just being recognised by private businesses; the emergency services are beginning to make use of them for two-way data transfer. Here are a few examples of ways in which the emergency services are using 4G:
- Ambulance crews can access patient information securely and can use video to share real-time information with hospitals.
- Fire crews can stream situation data to their control room for assessment, improving officer safety in the field.
- Police can monitor and manage public order issues more effectively as they have access to real time data.
The simple advantage of 4G is the ability to transfer large amounts of data quickly, securely and relatively cheaply. There are countless ways that businesses can take this benefit and use it for their own gain, and as 4G coverage increases throughout the UK we are sure to see more businesses embracing the possibilities that 4G can bring.