4G is up and running, and what it offers could be truly ground-breaking: Internet on a phone or tablet that runs faster than a typical home broadband connection.
To the consumer market, this will open up many new possibilities. Fast mobile broadband will mean being able to stream movies from a park bench, or downloading your favourite band’s new album almost instantly.
But will 4G have the same impact in the business space? Early signs are looking positive.
Faster mobile data speeds could change the way many people work, making them more productive in the process. There could also be cost savings and increased business opportunities.
How? Firstly, 4G users will be able to work or provide service to customers wherever they are, with all the business resources they need at their fingertips. Corporate applications and large files like sales materials, product demos or training videos will all be easily accessible.
But the potential benefits go well beyond that. 4G makes using many cloud based applications practical for mobile workers for the first time, allowing companies to simplify their IT operations and cut costs.
For some people, 4G will even provide the very brave an opportunity to run a business with nothing more than a smartphone and a laptop or tablet. There could be no need for fixed phone lines, PCs, conventional broadband, and all the associated costs. In reality, we know that’s not an option for many businesses.
The greatest opportunity, then, in the short term, could come from how quickly consumers take up 4G. When they're not streaming videos and downloading music, many consumers will be taking advantage of their fast 4G data connections to use the web like never before to buy goods and services - anytime, anywhere.
Companies must then make it easy for customers using mobile devices. A key action is to optimise your website so that’s it’s easy for customers to do what they want online (whether that’s simply get help, or to buy something). Those who do this best may discover that the single biggest effect of 4G on their business is increased sales.
How do you think 4G will affect businesses? Leave us a comment below to let us know.