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Friday, July 5, 2013

The hidden benefits of 4G

Dan Grose of Phones 4u writes:

It’s been nearly 10 months since EE launched the UK’s first 4G network and an estimated 55% of the country is now enjoying its benefits. The fourth generation of mobile networks has brought speeds of between 10-12 megabytes per second to thousands of areas across Britain, creating somewhat of a revolution in super-fast mobile browsing.

The advantages of 4G have been well documented, but some may be less obvious. As well as drastically increasing mobile internet speeds EE’s network has also had a hand in bringing the latest smartphones to the UK, with most top handsets now offering the latest innovations on the fastest network.

The likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One have taken the UK market by storm, and their availability with 4G at places like Phones 4u has proved an additional attraction for some users. Retailers now stock a large variety of LTE enabled handsets, and manufacturers are continuing to bring more to our shores.

Increase communication

British businesses have also felt the positive effects, benefitting from the drastically increased productivity afforded by the network. A recent study found that, of those businesses that had workers frequently out of the office, a 4G connection enabled them to increase communication and productivity when away from a computer or in the field. Of course, these are similar to the advantages experienced by the average user, but for businesses the results are evidently more profitable. And, with EE having launched its Double Speed service recently, this will be a trend that will only increase.

Yet perhaps the biggest, but most overlooked, benefit is the vastly increased coverage EE’s network has offered people. Whilst this may seem an obvious point – 55% of the country isn’t exactly a small amount to be servicing – the key lies in the area to which the company has taken 4G first.

It’s fair to say that eyebrows have been raised over the past few months as EE has continued its roll out, with every major city that receives coverage punctuated by several smaller territories. Without causing offence, some may question as to why Berkhamsted has access before the likes of Stoke-on-Trent when, with a larger population and more potential uses for it, the former seems to be the obvious candidate.

Rural isolation

But this is the exact point, as 4G’s arrival signifies increased coverage for the local area that’s not just limited to the superfast benefits. By taking its network to towns and villages where current 3G signal is poor, EE has offered the chance to end the struggle of putting up with next to no signal and non-existent mobile internet connections. Whilst the users will still have to pay out for a 4G contract, something that not everyone will be able to stretch to, giving people the option is the obvious method.

The good news is that this particular advantage will drastically increase once the likes of Vodafone and O2 join the 4G party later this year. With the latter aiming to have reached 98% of the population by 2017 with its network, it looks like poor reception and slow internet will soon be a thing of the past, no matter where you live.

Dan Grose works for UK high-street mobile phone retailer Phones 4u.
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Opinion Articles

Last week at The Fonecast: 10th March 2014

Bye-bye Barcelona, hello Hanover

Mark Bridge writes:

As one show closes, so another show opens.

It’s now more than a week since we bid a sad farewell to Mobile World Congress 2014 – I imagine hotel rooms for 2nd to 5th March 2015 are already being booked – but there’s now CeBIT in Germany to look forward to. Prime Minister David Cameron kicked things off last night with a speech that talked about UK-German partnerships, more funding for research around the ‘Internet of Things’ and the development of 5G technology.

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WiFi technology, problems and solutions

explained by Professor Andrew Nix from the University of Bristol

In this presentation, which was originally given as part of the ‘Multimedia Content Delivery onto Mobile Platforms’ session at Mobile World Congress 2014, Professor Andrew Nix from the University of Bristol explains many of the often-forgotten truths about WiFi service.

If you’re an IT manager, working in a mobile phone shop, looking at tech product design or simply want to get the most from your mobile phone, Professor Nix has plenty of practical advice in this 20-minute video clip.

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Key themes from Mobile World Congress 2014

by Andrew Skinner, Relationship Director of the Technology, Media & Telecoms team at Barclays

The GSMA reported that 85,000 visitors attended Mobile World Congress this year, breaking all previous records for the show.

Andrew Skinner, Relationship Director of the Technology, Media & Telecoms team at Barclays, reflects on his time in Barcelona and some of the key themes to come out of this year’s show.

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Beer o’clock

Beer o’clock

at Mobile World Congress 2014

James Rosewell writes:

I noticed a new phenomenon at Mobile World Congress this year: Beer O’Clock. Come 5pm Monday through Wednesday, companies with larger booths would break out the Cerveza, Vino, Cava and a small number of Orange juices. All very sociable and fun… until the music started.

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Last week at The Fonecast: 3rd March 2014

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Mark Bridge writes:

So, that’s another Mobile World Congress in the bag. Yes, it was bigger than ever. Just like last year. Just like the year before, too.

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