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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.
Author: The Fonecast
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