How 4G broadband will revolutionise business


Date: 8 March 2013

How 4G broadband will revolutionise business/4G revolution{{}}Since mobile phones first gained the capacity for internet browsing, they have become a priceless tool for business owners across the world. They keep you connected throughout the day, even when you travel around.

Most people are familiar with the term ‘3G’ by now (it’s the technology which powers most mobile internet access), but the idea of 4G may still baffle some.

Put simply, 4G is the fourth-generation communications technology which will allow much faster mobile internet connections. It’ll only be for mobile phones at first, but eventually laptops and portable gaming devices will benefit too.

Your 4G options

Everything Everywhere is the only company currently offering 4G mobile. It covers major UK cities.

EE is the same company as T-Mobile and Orange, so if you have a mobile contract with them you may be able to move to 4G even if you're within your minimum contract period.

O2 and Vodafone promise preferential 4G upgrades to some customers once their 4G networks become available later in 2013.

It's an advance in technology that could drastically change the way we carry out business. Here’s why:

1. Connect for less

4G will be fast enough to allow you to use voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software reliably, enabling you to make calls over the internet rather than using up your mobile network’s allowance of minutes.

You can do this via services like Skype or Viber (which also allows you to send text messages via mobile internet).

Mobile networks will probably change their tariffs as mobile VoIP takes off, but if you can get an unlimited data plan then you may never need to worry about exceeding your call allowance again.

2. Collaborate on the road

If you need to check documents outside of the office, it can currently take anything up to ten minutes to download each file you want to view. Hardly ideal if you’re trying to get things done!

4G will make this much faster. You can take advantage of it even more by implementing a cloud computing system to share documents and software.

For instance, inTechnology, which provides cloud services ranging from file-sharing to payment systems, predicts that this year will be the year businesses make the switch. Many small and medium-sized businesses are already beginning to do so.

3. Create your own hotspot

If you carry a laptop or tablet with you, you might be please to know that most smart phones can be turned into a wireless hotspot. This means you can connect any other wireless device to your phone and use your phone's data service to browse the internet.

This is ideal if you spend long periods of time on the road or between meetings. When you do get a moment you’ll be able to sit down at a computer and get straight to work - without having to look for free Wi-Fi or pay a separate fee for a dongle!

While it’s true you can do this with existing 3G networks, the extra speed promised by 4G makes portable hotspots a much more attractive and useful proposition. 

Jordan Peck is a keen writer who writes about various topics including technology and business.

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