A survey of British businesses, commissioned by Vodafone UK, found nearly two-thirds do not have 4G, while 41 per cent said they had no plans to adopt the technology.

Phil Mottram, enterprise director of Vodafone UK, argued that lack of 4G threatened to put businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

“Businesses need to be ready to take advantage of the tools and technologies that can give them the competitive edge today and in the future,” he said. “Now is the time for those businesses which are yet to invest in 4G to do so and to start benefiting from its full potential.

For its part, Vodafone UK said it was committed to helping businesses understand 4G benefits.

There seems to be some explaining to do: 43 per cent of respondents admitted to having a poor understanding of 4G’s capabilities. And of those that didn’t have 4G, a third said they do not perceive any business benefits.

Despite prices becoming “more competitive” since 4G first became available, at least according to Vodafone UK, cost is still ranked as the largest barrier to adoption.

“Whilst the perception of cost is still stopping businesses from taking the step towards 4G, the significant knowledge gap of what it can offer UK businesses is a challenge,” said Mottram.

Businesses which have upgraded to 4G, however, appear to have a clearer understanding of the benefits: increased speed for data transfer (51 per cent); faster responsiveness to customers and suppliers (43 per cent); ability to use all business applications when working remotely (48 per cent); and better flexible working (42 per cent).

The survey, carried out by YouGov, canvassed more than 1,200 senior decision makers from British businesses and the public sector.