The UK’s leading operator EE claims it now targets businesses and the public sector as much as consumers, and launched five 4G services to prove it.
The operator’s CEO Olaf Swantee (pictured) said business customers will be the main beneficiary of an increase in 4G network speed to 1Gb/s in the first half of 2016.
“Those speeds are good for virtual reality but mainly it’s about B2B,” he said, indicating how the needs of enterprise get equal billing with consumers.
“This is not about Angry Birds or streaming YouTube. We are talking about a new set of products that focus on changing business with IoT and 4G,” he added.
The new offerings include a fast 4G setup, mainly aimed at construction firms; a boost to in-car connectivity through 4G and Wi-Fi, which could apply to any business; 4G-enabled cameras; a so-called Wi-Fi-in-a-box; and enhanced secure messaging (designed specifically for the UK’s National Health Service).
The NHS, housing association Greensquare and the local police in Staffordshire were on hand to talk up how mobile broadband underpins their activities.
Talking about next year’s speed increase, Swantee said: “We are preparing for a 5G world where response times and latency are really, really important. The ambition is to create a defect-free network.”
He also had some statistics to share: EE now has more than 500,000 business and public sector customers, 75 per cent of which are on 4G. Data volume generated by businesses has grown sixfold since launch, he said.
He also referenced EE-backed research that the NHS could reduce missed appointments by 65 per cent, saving £585 million, with 4G-based solutions.
However, the new set of 4G-based services are not entirely new, the company acknowleges. Variations have been done before but what’s new is how the offerings are being packaged for customers. The differentiation against rivals is the strength of the operator’s underlying 4G network, it said.