O2 chief claims SMEs to benefit from 4G rollout

As well as providing a boost to the UK economy, the launch of 4G services is set to enhance many SMEs up and down the country.


These are the thoughts of Ronan Dunne, chief executive of telecommunications giant O2 Telefonica UK, who feels SMEs could benefit more quickly from the implementation of 4G services.


Smaller companies could feel the benefits sooner as the adoption rate of new services can take a considerably longer period in larger organisations, meaning that such a significant business restructuring move could be just the tool to inspire tangible and rapid growth.


The telecommunications company launched its super-fast mobile services in late August with Leeds, Bradford and London the first cities to experience the service.


Now, in the next phase of the roll-out, Sheffield is one of several major cities set to be exposed to the latest mobile phone technology.


Mr. Dunne said: “For digital economy in the broad sense you need three things, you need great digital infrastructure, you need digital literacy, which is something O2 talks about a lot and is people having digital skills, and you need to bring the technology to life by putting great products and services on it, so you need to do all three.


“So what we’re talking about with the launch of 4G is that one of the essential ingredients that’s been missing from the digital economy, which is really ubiquitous, any time, any place, anywhere access to high speed data, is now being addressed by 4G.”


The battle for 4G supremacy


O2’s rival operator EE (formally Orange and Deutsche Telekom) has built up a considerable lead over its rivals as it first implemented 4G technology in October last year.


But Mr. Dunne said his company is attempting a fast role out of services which are set to be available in 13 cities, covering roughly 30% of the population, by Christmas.


EE meanwhile is said to have a 4G service available in 100 British towns and cities.


Mr. Dunne feels the speeds at which the new technology is being rolled out is enabling the UK to catch up with the rest of Europe.


Another telecommunications provider, Vodaphone, is set to launch services in the capital and five further cities as the rollout of 4G continues to spread.


SMEs who can quickly implement the latest services will feel the benefits of a speedy and efficient service, which can enable them to trade on a par with their European counterparts.


By Phil Smith


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