Businesses demand speedy rollout of 4G in the UK

Some 93 percent of UK businesses want 4G networks rolled out across the UK as soon as possible, according to research by Everything Everywhere.

The research also found that 94 percent of senior decision makers believe 4G is vital to the UK remaining competitive and 85 percent said that it would increase their business productivity.

Everything Everywhere launched a campaign last month to highlight the importance of speeding up the UK’s rollout of 4G networks, which is currently facing a number of significant delays.

Communications regulator Ofcom was due to hold a 4G spectrum auction in the first quarter of 2012, but this was delayed to the final quarter of this year due to a number of complaints being brought forward by the UK’s mobile operators.

However, Everything Everywhere is also keen to highlight the importance of 4G as it is pushing Ofcom to let it roll out networks ahead of the upcoming auction, as it already holds spectrum (currently used for 2G services) that can be used on next generation networks. This has sparked criticism from its competitors and Ofcom is yet to make a final decision.

The research, which surveyed over 1,000 senior decision makers in the UK, also found that 72 percent of business leaders use the mobile internet on a daily basis for work purposes. Some 52 percent of respondents cited greater levels of flexible working as the primary expected benefit of 4G networks.

“In today’s global economy, UK businesses need 4G networks to help them be more productive and compete on the international stage,” said Martin Stiven, vice president of B2B at Everything Everywhere.

“Half of the countries on the F20 list of the world’s biggest economies already have 4G, leaving British businesses at risk of falling behind rivals.”

Everything Everywhere also recently stated that it is ahead of its rivals in its 4G plans because other mobile operators are too busy focusing on cost efficiencies, instead of innovation. It said that Vodafone and O2 have “chosen not to champion 4G at this stage”.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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