Posted on September 6, 2016
Mark Curtis-Wood, Nimans’ Head of Network Services looks at the growing impact of 4G.
What opportunities exist because of 4G?
4G opens up a huge opportunity for resellers in terms of reach and speed. Fundamentally it changes the way people work. We are already working on a number of opportunities that just wouldn’t have existed 12 months ago without the expansion of 4G.
4G has become a ‘given’ that people expect now even in smaller towns. Eighteen months ago they probably didn’t have that level of expectation even with 3G. 4G creates so many compelling business opportunities around mobile data and we have seen an acceleration in larger deployments of 4G mobile data through our resellers.
The key thing mobile resellers need to be thinking about is that it’s much more than just how 4G works with a voice connection. It’s understanding how a single 4G mobile data connection allows us to do things in a completely different way now. We are seeing deployment of mobile data to provide back-up solutions for the retail industry and a faster return of revenue by enabling pre-ethernet solutions. Our pre-ethernet service allows resellers to get connectivity into their customers on day one whilst waiting for fixed Ethernet to be deployed months later down the line.
Speed is just one element of 4G, there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s about the penetration of 4G and wider availability. As reach increases it starts to compete with other forms of technology whereas 3G just wasn’t in the race before.
Has the channel embraced 4G and what opportunities are still to be unlocked?
The channel is starting to embrace 4G but there’s still a lot to be learned. I’m still sitting with resellers who view 4G simply as a basic mobile phone service. There’s lots of opportunities out there. Some of the deals we are working on now wouldn’t have been on our radar 12 months ago and in six months’ time there will be new opportunities presented to us that we’ve not even thought about yet. The impact of the technology continues to grow around the utilisation of mobile data.
Resellers are now starting to speak to their customers about ‘what else they are doing in their business’. That could be connecting 25 mobile workers to an office via 4G. There’s many opportunities still to unlock. I think we’ve only just scratched the surface.
Has 4G delivered?
I think 4G is delivering. The spread of 4G services across multiple networks brings real choice and universal coverage. We are seeing big opportunities around multi network SIMS too, which work across three different networks. This instantly provides a wider mesh coverage for ‘always on’ connectivity. This has great uses in emerging markets like the CCTV industry etc.
5G is probably not on most people’s radars just yet although it’s been talked about for a couple of years now. Inevitably it opens up even more avenues. 4G has already opened us up to a faster connection and better coverage 5G will take this to another level. 5G will increase download speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. That means a full HD movie can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. It will also reduce latency significantly (giving people faster load times). In short, it will give wireless broadband the capacity it needs to power thousands of connected devices that will reach our homes and workplaces.
How important is mobile connectivity?
Mobile connectivity is critical. As a reseller if you don’t have a mobile data and M2M strategy then you will get left behind and risk losing large chunks of your business to someone else. Mobile connectivity is becoming the heart of everything we do.
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