A recent study from EE, one of the biggest names in digital communications in the U.K., says that when it comes to 4G mobile services, it's not regular consumers who are getting in on the action first, but rather big business and similar large organizations.
EE has a slew of names to back up its projections as well, and though its plans are quite aggressive, it's the major businesses that are out in front when it comes to interest in signing up.
EE launched the first 4G network in the U.K. only recently, but just three months after its launch, had a variety of businesses either sign up for the service or enter the opening stages of launch. On the list of companies ready to roll with EE's 4G were organizations like the Gatwick Airport and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, but also an array of businesses like Kier, Microsoft, Foxtons and Addison Lee.
EE isn't strictly focusing on businesses here, of course, as it has plans to have a 4G network in place in over 65 different cities and towns by the end of June, which will be sufficient to cover half the total population of the U.K. This is being billed largely as a way to not only boost productivity in those areas, but help lower the costs of doing business, thus allowing more money to find its way back into the economy and help get things rolling in what is still a slow economy.
Based on the numbers from EE, however, it's clear that this is definitely a project businesses want in on, with fully 64 percent of businesses planning to roll out 4G service within six months, according to a study from Arthur D. Little.
What's particularly interesting about that study is what the businesses plan to do with that 4G capability, with 76 percent of businesses looking to boost mobile working for their employees.
The companies themselves, meanwhile, have very specific plans for that 4G. Kier, for example, wants to use it to reduce setup times on distant construction sites. Microsoft wants to engage 4G to establish business continuity for those times when Wi-Fi isn't available.
Foxtons wants to use it as a way to update its property database remotely and ensure that the most timely information is available for its sellers, and Addison Lee wants to augment its line of private taxis by offering in-car Internet access.
With businesses in the United States already reporting impressive gains with using 4G – 86 percent of 4G-enabled businesses in the United States say they save 33 hours a week on average, while 47 percent report outright cash savings – it's clear that there are plenty of opportunities for businesses in the U.K. to do the same.
Time savings for many businesses commonly yield cash savings, and when actual cash savings are added on to time savings, it produces one major profit driver. There are often two ways to improve profits for business: reduce costs or increase sales.
Since 4G is clearly offering some kind of savings for businesses, that's making it very much worth a second look.
It's not a magic bullet, of course, but the proper use of a high-speed mobile communications solutions like 4G can bring substantial improvements to a bottom line. With the economy still sluggish at best, being able to impact the bottom line with something like a new technology is something few businesses can afford to at least consider.
Edited by Braden Becker