04/02/2013

By Jonathan Davies


Since it was launched in October 2012, 4G mobile networks have been positioned as not just great for the consumer, but great for business as well.

EE led the way in the UK, with a joint venture from Vodafone and O2 adding to the competition, providing various business focused 4G tarrifs.

I was speaking to Ben Dowd, who is an O2 Business Director. He told me that O2 has received a large amount of enquiries from businesses asking about what 4G can do for the business.

So, I asked Ben a couple of questions to clear a few things up for business owners wondering what 4G can do for the business.

How does 4G actually help employees to be able to work more flexibly?

With the speeds being five times faster than 3G, 4G is like having a broadband-speed internet connection wherever you go, so your employees can easily download and send large files whilst on the move, take part in video conferencing almost anywhere, and send real-time data from the point of source, all without the need for an office, a desk or even a computer. With our Pop Up Office solution up to 10 devices can be connected to superfast internet directly, whether it is a laptop, tablet or smartphone (no need for it to be 4G) whilst on the move. This means an office could be a park bench in Hyde Park, a coffee shop in Manchester or a Shopping centre in Leeds.

Will 4G provide a similar level of building penetration as 3G does now?

4G operates at the relatively low frequency of 800MHz. The lower the frequency, the further the signal travels, meaning we can offer a great indoor 4G experience for our business customers. Our 3G network operates at slightly higher frequencies, so 4G will generally provide even better indoor coverage than 3G does currently.

What about security? As access becomes so fast and sophisticated, won't the risk to businesses increase? Is there any protection written into 4G or do we rely on our current protection provision?

4G technology presents no increase in risk to security over other mobile technologies. In fact, security is improved with 4G. It has longer encryption keys, a deeper key hierarchy, and improved security both for the backhaul and when connecting to external networks using 4G.

My job requires me to upload and download content on the move. What are the speeds of doing this over 4G?

Our 4G business customers experience speeds of around 5 times faster than they experience on 3G. Data speeds themselves are dependent on a number of factors, such as signal quality (how far you are from the base station) and how many other users are using the service at the same time. 4G is all about accessing content on the go and our focus is on delivering a network that lets businesses do exactly that.

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