The business benefits of 4G

November 1, 2012

The world’s first global study into 4G LTE business benefits reveals how 4G could help British firms increase innovation, boost productivity and cut costs.

The study by EE and Arthur D. Little, based on 14 in-depth interviews with 4G LTE-enabled businesses worldwide and responses from over 1,200 business decision makers gives British firms insights on how 4G can benefit their business.

4G boosts innovation

Over three quarters of US-based respondents (76%) agree 4G has helped their firms innovate and jump ahead of the competition.  This innovation boost has been realised by firms in the construction, automotive and healthcare industries to name but a few. They are using 4G to introduce new ways of working, products and services before rivals do. For example, a German car manufacturer will become the first to 4G-enable cars when it releases the LTE Car Hotspot, a USB adaptor giving passengers access to superfast internet.  While a US-based 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%, saving $1,000 a day.

Productivity increase with 4G

More than eight out of 10 US businesses surveyed (86%) get more work done on the move with 4G. This is because employees can browse the mobile internet faster than before, access files in the cloud more quickly and communicate with colleagues and customers using high quality video conference calls while on the move.  For instance, 40% said sales teams can now get deals completed in the field, without having to come back to base. While in Germany, a city hospital is trialling a 4G-enabled ambulance, aimed at improving survival rates of stroke patients. The high data transfer speeds of 4G are essential given the high resolution Computerised Tomography (CT) images which are uploaded by the ambulance to the hospital. Alarm to therapy times were reduced by 54% during the trial.

Cut costs

While nearly half (47%) said 4G has saved their company money, with one small business based in Los Angeles saving $100,000 (£62,000) alone. Cost efficiencies were achieved by this organisation, and others, by introducing 4G devices and hot-desking, then reducing office space as a result; cutting wasted employee time; and slashing print costs as documents can be easily transferred between devices.

UK demand for 4G

Newcastle’s business community is showing the strongest demand for 4G in the UK, outstripping London, the home of Tech City. Eight out of 10 Newcastle-based businesses (85%) intend to rollout the superfast mobile service within 12 months.  In comparison, 74% of businesses nationally and 78% in London plan to do the same. When it comes to rollout within organisations, the study found CEOs and sales staff will be first in line to get the new technology – the study noted a similar trend occurring in America.

Martin Stiven, Vice President of Business at EE, said: “4G is having a transformational effect on businesses across the world.  It’s unsurprising 86% said that now they’ve experienced the benefits of 4G, they wouldn’t go back to 3G.  We’re keen that British businesses reap the same rewards, helping them become more productive, efficient and innovative.  That’s why we’ve announced highly competitive 4G pricing and released this study detailing how other nations are using 4G successfully.

Study author, Joseph Place from 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 UK businesses will begin to see such benefits as they roll out 4G during 2012 and beyond.”

Download a copy of the study at the Ad Little page

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