Why Aren’t Businesses Adopting 4G?

A YouGov survey for Vodafone UK into the adoption and perception of 4G among UK businesses has revealed a lack of understanding of the benefits of 4G is one of the major barriers to adoption.

4G coverage at the airport

The results of the YouGov survey, which surveyed over 1,200 senior decision makers from UK businesses and the public sector, were surprising – revealing that 64% do not yet have 4G and 41% have no current plan to adopt it. This may mean that UK businesses risk missing out on the digital revolution, and falling behind competitors that have already implemented 4G. Small and medium business are falling particularly far behind in the adoption of 4G, with only 24% already using 4G compared with 39% of larger businesses.

The survey identified various perceived barriers to adoption of 4G the largest of which was cost, despite the fact that prices have reduced dramatically since the initial introduction of 4G. The second largest barrier was lack of understanding about what 4G is and the business benefits it can bring. 43% of those surveyed had a poor understanding of the capabilities of 4G, and a third of those that had not already implemented 4G believed that it would not benefit their business.

According to Phil Mottram, UK Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK, “Businesses need to be ready to take advantage of the tools and technologies that can give them the competitive edge today and in the future. Now is the time for those businesses which are yet to invest in 4G to do so and to start benefitting from its full potential. To help decision makers see the viable business case in upgrading to 4G, Vodafone is committed to helping businesses understand how 4G can benefit them based on their business functions, needs, and priorities, using the greater speed and capacity that 4G can provide.”

The lack of understanding of 4G and its capabilities has led to a disconnect in business priorities and the adoption of technology to address these. Top business priorities cited by the majority of respondents included increasing operational efficiency, improving customer service, and improving profits. The adoption of 4G can have a positive impact on all these priorities, with high speeds and capacity enabling flexible working and operational efficiency, as well as improving communication with customers and access to information. The majority of businesses said that downloading, transferring, and accessing data-heavy content was important for their business, but many didn’t realise that adopting 4G would improve these processes.

The respondents that had already adopted 4G had a much clearer understanding of how it benefited their business:

  • 51% cited increased speed of data transfer as a business benefit
  • 43% cited faster response to customers and suppliers as a business benefit
  • 48% cited the potential to use business application when working remotely as a benefit
  • 42% cited better flexible working as a benefit

In today’s instantaneous world, where communication and speed are everything, businesses that fail to recognise the benefits of 4G are likely to be missing out to their better connected competitors.