A global survey of the business benefits of 4G LTE has revealed improvements to mobile working and increased innovation as advantages of the superfast broadband network standard.
The 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard for the wireless communication of high-speed data is already used by businesses in countries such as US and Germany.
EE has made 4G available in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. Other cities will be added before the end of the year.
In conjunction with the launch, EE released the findings of a survey of the business benefits of 4G LTE.
EE's findings reveal three-quarters of US businesses are increasing innovation through 4G LTE and 86% of US firms believe more work is done by employees on the move. Similar benefits were found in Germany, Sweden and Japan.
The study, carried out by consulting firm Arthur D. Little, is based on 14 in-depth interviews with 4G LTE-enabled businesses worldwide and responses from over 1,200 business decision makers.
- A firm combined 4G with head-mounted cameras allowing fieldworkers to stream video to experts back at base;
- Another business installed CCTV cameras in record time by using 4G, instead of digging up the road to install a fixed line connection, saving time and money;
- US haulage company said trucks literally became offices through 4G as employees no longer needed to return to base;
- A law firm said that if staff forget a crucial file or need it unexpectedly, they can access it instantly from court, rather than race 10 miles back to the office;
- 4G has helped US organisations to slash print costs as documents can be easily transferred between devices instead of being printed;
- A US-based construction company uses 4G to send vast quantities of critical data in the field back to base in real-time.
Businesses using 4G LTE can introduce products and services more quickly than rivals who do not use the technology.
The report gives two examples. A German car manufacturer is creating 4G-enabled cars when it releases the LTE Car Hotspot, a USB adaptor giving passengers access to superfast internet.
A US construction company uses 4G to send vast quantities of critical data in the field back to base in real-time. It has used one application over 4G to reduce project completion times by as much as 30% and saves $1,000 a day.
A hospital in Germany is piloting 4G communications as a way to increase stroke survival rates. High data transfer speeds of 4G are essential for medical images to be sent from ambulances at the scene to the hospital.
The survey revealed that 74% of UK businesses are planning to use 4G.
Joseph Place at Arthur D. Little said businesses are using 4G LTE to bring a more fundamental level of mobility to their organisations. “For example, 4G can be used to set up a fully connected office almost anywhere, dramatically increasing agility and responsiveness. We also expect to see innovative 4G-specific products emerging, for instance in the mHealth arena. We’re positive that Nigerian businesses and other countries will begin to see such benefits as they roll out 4G in 2013 and beyond.”