I think it’s safe to say now that broadband isn’t going to be a fad. This may sound funny now, but the last couple of decades are strewn with the husks of failed businesses that missed the train when it came to first broadband, then websites, then social networking, then apps – the list goes on.
The next big evolution in broadband technology is now upon us; 4G mobile broadband is here to stay and it may be every bit as important as the 3G product it is superseding. So what is all the fuss about?
‘Real’ broadband on the move
While we’ve had mobile broadband for years now, it has never been something we could rely on. Slow 3G speeds, dropouts, failed downloads – it’s often easier to print off some documents to read on the train than to sit there getting frustrated as you go through yet another tunnel half way through your download.
4G has the potential to change all of this, and it’s all down to one thing: speeds potentially up to 10 times faster than 3G, with more to come. The very nature of mobile broadband is going to present problems of reliability for some time yet, but raw speed has the potential to power through a lot of theses issues. If you only need a few seconds to download an item, you only need that stable connection for that time. It’s not perfect, but having used it while on the move 4G is a massive step in the right direction.
The business back-up you’ve been waiting for
Additionally, when not on the move and in range, you should find 4G gives you great mobile broadband speeds. This is particularly good for business trips, when you’re sitting in an airport or hotel room and needing to get online. Not only will it save you a fortune, but we’ve found 4G can be faster than a lot of public connections too – something that was rare with 3G mobile broadband.
But it’s not only good when you’re out and about. With the 4G mast upgrades mainly being rolled out from the major cities, there’s a good chance one of the networks has already upgraded in your business’s area. Fixed-line broadband tends to be reliable – which makes it even more of a shock when it goes down, even temporarily; how many of your staff don’t permanently need to be online now? 4G as a back up service will keep your business going through those landline blackouts.
And most importantly – it’s future-proof
Even if you’re not convinced by 4G now, the truth is that its here to stay. It’s not going to cost much to upgrade your mobile contracts if you shop around, while you’re not going to benefit from it at all if you’re not upgrading to 4G ready handsets and dongles.
This isn’t the time to be scrimping on upgrading to slightly older handsets; you need to be looking at 4G ready smartphones and mobile broadband units now to make the transition seamless. The amount we rely on broadband now can’t be underestimated. Each little bump we can smooth out for our staff is another win, and with 4G it’s a no-brainer. This time, don’t be left behind.
About the author: Chris Marling is writing on behalf of the broadband information site BroadbandGenie.co.uk, where you can find more information on 4G and mobile broadband.