September 19, 2012

4G in the UK: Why it matters

It’s recently been announced that the UK’s first fourth generation (4G) mobile internet service will be up and running in 16 cities by the end of the year. And it’s about time. The UK has really lagged behind the rest of the world on 4G adoption and that’s why there’s so much interest in the next wave of wireless and the promise of faster downloads.

When 3G arrived, it transformed the way people used the internet and as a result businesses were forced to think very differently about how clients and customers accessed online content. Now that Everything Everywhere (EE) has been given the go-ahead to roll out 4G in the UK (it’s predicted it will cover 98 percent of the UK population by 2014), it’s a good time to look at the benefits it will bring.

The introduction of 3G was revolutionary, but 4G will be even more crucial for businesses investing in good website design. The UK is one of the last countries to hold its 4G spectrum auctions in Europe (we were one of the first countries to hold 3G auctions) and businesses need to be up to speed so they don’t drop further behind.

Around half of the UK population accesses the internet though mobile devices and over 28 percent (Ofcom 4 August 2012) of internet usage comes from smart phones. This figure will only increase with the arrival of 4G and it is therefore no wonder that more and more businesses are looking to ensure their online presence is compatible with the latest mobile technology.

Speaking at the EE launch event, Boris Johnson the London Mayor said: “I barely understand it, but information will spout unstoppably from these gizmos.” Good old Boris…he puts it simply, but he’s on the right lines. With 4G mobile internet speeds between eight and ten times faster than the current 3G network, we can expect our mobile phone to do even more for us in the future, and crucially – keep us glued to them for even longer.

Some of the benefits 4G mobile will bring include: being able to access the web on the go without waiting, downloading HD movies in minutes, watching live TV on the move without it buffering, downloading large email attachments more quickly and being able to make higher quality video calls.

4G will allow clients and customers to access website content from their mobile device as quickly and easily as from their desktop or laptop at home, which means it has never been more important to have a mobile-friendly site (the biggest way to send a potential customer back to another Google search? Small icons and too much scrolling).

Also important to consider is mobile app development. The arrival of 4G will without question increase mobile app usage. The EE has also confirmed it will bring a whole new range of 4G mobile devices which will be launched in the coming months. And with new browsers comes more cross browser testing and cross platform functionality.

We’ve made sure we’re ready for these changes. Why not give us a call on 01603 252555 and we’ll make sure you’re ready too.