4G roll-out key to jobs and growth, say business leaders

Fears that Britain is being left behind in the mobile stakes raised by survey of decision makers


A resounding 94% of the UK business leaders have cited the roll-out of the 4G mobile network as crucial to protecting jobs and remaining competitive.

The independent research, commissioned by Orange and T-Mobile-merged communications company Everything Everywhere, found British businesses are increasingly reliant on mobile devices and fear other nations are accelerating away.

Half of the world’s biggest economies already have 4G, prompting 93% of decision makers to assert that Britain needs to move as quickly as possible.

Seven out of 10 of the 1,010 business leaders questioned – more than half of whom were from companies with less than 500 employees – are using mobile internet on a daily basis for work, while nine out of 10 access emails or documents at least once a week. Enabling a greater degree of flexible working was deemed important to more than half of respondents to the survey carried out by Coleman Parkes.

Almost a third of those surveyed said 4G would allow businesses to better engage with customers and colleagues via mobile TV, video conferencing and CRM applications. And security was also deemed a benefit by a third as businesses store more sensitive data on cloud-based services and switch to hosting in the cloud.

Martin Stiven, vice president of B2B at Everything Everywhere, pointed to the G20 list of the world’s biggest economies and that Britain is in the lower half with regards to 4G, as a danger to prospects of growth.

One respondent, Brian O’Connor, group IS director at construction company Morgan Sindall Group, echoed Stiven’s sentiments: “With an annual turnaround of several hundred construction sites and a large mobile workforce we often cannot get reliable and speedy comms to workers because broadband lines to sites take time, Wi-Fi is unavailable or unreliable in many areas, or the 2G or 3G technologies cannot cope with traffic requirements for mobile users.”

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