Monthly Archives: April 2013

4G users spend more online thanks to faster speeds

Consumers with 4G mobile devices are more likely to spend more online as a result of their faster connections, thedrum.com reports.

A new study by eDigitalResearch and IMRG found that a third of 4G users have claimed they are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to make more purchases on their mobile devices thanks to their quick internet speeds.

The research, which involved quizzing 2,000 consumers, found that 77 per cent of those with 4G connectivity had already used their devices whilst out shopping, to check prices, availability or read reviews. Tellingly, this figure was at just 53 per cent for those with only a 3G connection.

Elsewhere, the study also found that users of 4G were also more tech-savvy and more engaged with developments in the mobile world than their 3G-using peers. It also found that 14 per cent of all mobiles now came with 4G sims, although not all of them are currently in use.

The usage and effectiveness of 4G was also considered, with the result that 82 per cent of those surveyed who’d used 4G claimed it made browsing ‘faster’ or ‘considerably faster’.

Commenting on the findings, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, Derek Eccleston told ichannel.com: “The introduction of 4G technology looks set to have a considerable impact on retail markets.

“With faster internet speeds and a better all-round browsing experience, more and more shoppers are likely to turn to their 4G-enabled device to help them through their multichannel purchase journey. Whilst the thought of this might scare some, brands need to embrace this next step of the mobile revolution and ensure that their entire end-to-end customer journey across all channels is set for more mobile.”

BT enters the 4G race in surprise U-turn

British Telecom has begun searching for a new telecoms partner, following a surprise U-turn on its mobile ambitions.

The BT group snagged £200 million worth of the 4G spectrum in the recent auction, but at the time said that they had no intention of entering the mobile communications market. Instead, it was believed that BT would use the spectrum to bolster their national Wi-Fi hotspot network, perhaps giving customers a 4G router.

However, the telecoms giant has now begun a tender for an operator to provide mobile services to BT customers. While the tender is open to all the operators it is widely expected that O2 will be the preferred bidder.

O2 was originally owned by BT but was sold off to Telefonica in 2005. O2 failed to win any of the 2.6GHz spectrum that BT bought, which is why industry insiders believe that a deal could be done.
Talking to FT.com, a BT spokesman said: “We won some excellent 4G spectrum just recently so it makes sense for us to explore the new opportunities that 4G presents.”

Sam Gibbs of Gizmodo.co.uk speculated that BT could well bundle 4G services with its broadband package which would make it a very tempting overall offer for many consumers and businesses alike.

British businesses urged to prepare for arrival of 4G

British businesses have been urged to do more to prepare for the arrival of 4G.

Sean Duffy, who is head of technology at Barclays Bank, has claimed that the arrival of super-fast internet in the UK will encourage even more consumers to shop online using mobile devices.

In an interview with bmmagazine.co.uk, he encouraged businesses to prepare for the proliferation of 4G routers by ensuring their website is fully-optimised for mobile devices.

He said: “We’re already seeing a growing trend for consumers to browse on their mobile or tablet rather than their PC and while the introduction of 4G networks is unlikely to cause technical problems for online businesses, it is likely to accelerate this trend.

“Companies that are already prepared for consumers to use their sites from a mobile device stand to gain a significant competitive advantage. It isn’t enough to simply replicate the big screen PC experience for mobile devices.”

According to cable.co.uk, Duffy was reacting to research that suggested nine out of ten online businesses were yet to optimise their website for mobile devices. That’s despite over a third of businesses reporting growth in mobile traffic since the turn of the year.

The research, conducted by Barclays, revealed that more than half of Brits bought a product online using a mobile device last year.

EE still running the 4G market

EE is still running the 4G market, with a company prediction that there will be one million 4G customers by the end of the year.

The mobile phone network has announced that 318,000 people are currently running their super fast mobile broadband service. Around 1,600 medium and large businesses have also signed up, according to ibtimes.co.uk.

EE has released financial results for the first quarter of 2013 and claimed last month that it wanted to reach the big one million this year. With O2, Vodafone and Three all hot on its heels to offer 4G sims in the next few months, competition could be stiff.

Chief Financial Officer of EE, Neal Milson said: “Today’s results are in line with our expectations, and we are making good progress focusing on high value segments.

“We expect to strengthen our industry leadership position in the year ahead as the 4G roll out continues and we introduce double-speed 4GEE.”

Sky.com reports that this is the first time the network has released any subscriber numbers, since it launched the service in November 2012.  Average speeds are expected to reach 20Mbps in ten different cities by the end of June, according to company predictions.

EE has around 27 million customers and expects to have 4G coverage for 70 per cent of the population by the end of the year.

4G rollout set to fuel high-tech adverts

The rollout of the 4G network is set to spark advances in the adverts appearing on smartphones, reports ft.com.

Reporter Robert Cookson explained that the ultrafast nature of this next-generation internet access will supply the bandwidth for marketers to create some truly advanced content – adverts that are personalised to the user and that are able to ask them questions.

Mobile advertising spending more than doubled in 2012 in the UK, according to Mr Cookson, with this investment not forecast to let up. Among the innovations due to appear thanks to 4G routers and sims is speech recognition technology within adverts.

Victor Malachard, chief executive of Adfonic, said: “I’d say what makes mobile different is first and foremost the personal nature of the device. If you’re engaging with a person through a smartphone or tablet, you’re going to have that person’s attention far more than if you were engaging with them through desktop or television or print.”

The possibility of using the 4G network for such rich media adverts largely relies on consumer take-up of the service and mobile network EE is confident of hitting its target of one million customers by the end of the year, reports theregister.co.uk.

It has signed up 318,000 people for 4G so far – it currently has a monopoly on the service but rivals will join the fray later this year.

4G is a viable alternative to fixed line on construction sites, says Kier

4G is to become an important tool on the modern construction site, says the head of construction IT at Kier.

Peter Banner says that communications are an essential tool on construction sites. With plans changing all the time, having data access insures that the developers are working to the latest drawings.

Traditionally, Banner said that the organisation would order in a fixed line and use an ad-hoc 3G system in the interim period. However, he said that the 3G network was simply not robust enough to handle the construction giant’s demands.

“[3G units] were quite limited in the amount of data we could transfer and the service we could provide over it,” Banner told telegraph.co.uk.

Now the company has moved over to 4G and Banner says that the difference is incredible.

A single 4G unit is enough for 35 people to connect their laptops and VoIP phones. The amount of bandwidth available on 4G is so great, that the company says that it could add CCTV and video conferencing capabilities as well.

Banner boasts that the units are built into flight cases containing the 4G router, switches and ‘network optimisation technology’. If there is no power available, the units can simply be plugged into a generator.

In related news, theregister.co.uk has reported that 28,000 Londoners will 40 days to fit their free filters before the city is flooded with 4G signals to test the effect on the Freeview television spectrum.

Internet access more important than water, TV and heating, claims poll

Britons would be more ‘stressed out’ by not having internet access than if their heating was switched off, their TVs didn’t work or they didn’t have water, according to a new study.

A survey of 1,000 London commuters by Infosecurity Europe, reported by freshbusinessthinking.com, found more people would worry about not having internet access than some of the most valuable utilities used in everyday life.

The report suggests 38 per cent would be stressed out through lack of internet, followed by 32 per cent claiming lack of water would hinder their stress levels. Furthermore, 18 per cent cited lack of heating while no TV and no washing machine would be a bugbear to eight per cent and four per cent of commuters respectively, adds dezeen.com.

However, with the introduction of 4G to the UK, those worried about lack of internet access can use a 4G sim in a compatible mobile device in order to access their favourite sites or play games online.

Claire Sellick, event director for Infosecurity Europe, commented on the figures: “It is not just at home that the Internet has become a ‘must have’ – the same sentiment falls into the workplace too.

“Having an internet connection is part and parcel of our everyday lives [and is] becoming more important than even heat and water at home, which does seem phenomenal but shows just how dependent we are on the internet,” she added.