The future of 4G is in making the services people like to use when they access the internet at home on fast broadband connections just as easily available on the move, says award winning telecoms supplier Intouch Advance.
Us Brits have some of the longest average commuting times in Europe – according to a recent labour force survey, nowhere in the country averages less than about 45 minutes. We can therefore take advantage of time in which to work, read, watch, listen, network and play games on our phones whilst on the move.
But many of us are battling with a slow internet connection, prohibiting us from being productive and effective on the go. The frustration of business travellers when trying to connect to WiFi on, for example, a train journey, is an irritation that is experienced every day in the UK.
This is where the amazing gadget that has been named ‘MiFi’ comes in to play. It’s a small 4G device, about the same size as a mobile phone, which allows you to connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices in an instant, plus you can take it with you wherever you go. All you need to do is to enter the device’s WiFi code into your laptop, tablet, e-reader or phone and you’re connected in seconds. Bliss! And if you’ve connected once, you shouldn’t need to connect again – the beauty of MiFi is that it requires no installation software.
Intouch Advance asked a representative from Nationwide Broker Services to trial a MiFi device, giving an honest account of speed and usability. Company Director, Stephen Cowman said:
“So, I can sit on the train from Leeds to London with three of my colleagues sitting beside me and we can all connect to 4G from the one device. Between us we have connected four mobile phones, two laptops and two iPads – we are downloading big files, streaming HD clips and watching live TV to test its performance.
And the result? “We’re all really impressed – it’s just like working from the office in terms of the speeds you get. We had small periods of time where 4G was unavailable so the device automatically reverted to 3G. This did provide a marked difference in the speeds received but as 4G coverage improves I understand that this won’t be an issue.”
With plans for 4G to be available to 98% of the UK population by the end of 2014 and the introduction of double-speed 4G in ten cities, 3G connectivity will soon be a thing of the past. We will see downlink speeds double to 80Mbps over the next few weeks in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. This is welcome news, considering that Europe currently has less 4G mobile broadband than Africa.
Workforces are becoming increasingly mobile and need technology that can enable them to access corporate networks from anywhere and be as productive and effective on the road as at a desktop computer.
But MiFi isn’t only beneficial for those that travel or commute, emphasises Simon Pollard, Chief Executive at Intouch Advance: “MiFi could be a welcomed solution for those needing superfast connectivity out on location and those moving office or hot-desking. We can keep business moving without battling with a slow connection or waiting for one to be installed.
“Many applications such as live TV, real-time multi-player gaming, video calling and video conferencing whilst on the move will become much more widely used over time.
“It would be unsurprising for us to see an influx of households opting for the MiFi instead of home broadband in the coming months, owing to its versatility.”
And with Intouch Advance offering MiFi for only £13.33 a month for 3GB of data – approximately £1 more than 3G, it’s a no brainer.