The panel discussion at the convergence summit on the opportunities that 4G will bring business in the UK was well received by the audience with Trefor Davies Timico, Robert Hayward of MLL Telecom, Simon Fort of Nine Group and Alexis Argent of 4Gon Solutions bringing some interesting debate to the table.
One of the key facts that came out of it was that 4G is still prohibited by the lack of coverage in locations where it could bring serious business gains. Companies such as O2 face problems in inner cities and high-density building areas as the allocated 800mhz spectrum does not work as well as it could in these types of location.
As there are only about 450,000 4G subscribers, the potential of 4G is still to be realized. The panel pointed to the fact that 4G will give those in rural areas without fibre access to high speed broadband which will benefit those looking to install a Hosted solution. However the reality of national 4G will not be realized in the next year or two. A member of the audience raised an interesting question, asking whether 4G will reduce the opportunity to sell fixed access to companies, the panel answer was a resounding no although some people thought that it would reduce the opportunities in some applications of fixed access. Cavell “illumes” parent company has been working a lot in emerging markets in Middle East and Africa where we are seeing 4G have a big effect on fixed access market, and we recently wrote a blog piece about this effect. https://cavellvoice.com/2013/09/19/capacity-africa-show-cooperation-is-crucial-to-the-growth-of-broadband-in-africa/
The panel also pointed to the benefits of having a 4G connection as a backup to a fixed access broadband. If a fixed line goes down, having the potential to move to a 4G connection to deliver voice and data is something that wouldn’t have been able to be done over a 3G connection.
With 94% of the audience believing that 4G will become a sales opportunity for Hosted providers it is clear that many people are seeing the rollout of 4G as a chance to take advantage of the high speeds and mobility that 4G will give them.