Enterprise customers are yet to catch the 4G bug and it is up to operators to show them what advantages it could bring to their companies.
This was the belief of David Plumb, O2 Enterprise general manager, who told Computer Weekly even EE as the sole provider of 4G in the UK posed no threat to his division.
“We have not lost a single [enterprise] customer to EE,” he said. “These are challenges for the industry because does that mean when we launch [4G] in the summer we may have similar challenges, but… we pursue a model with O2 Unify as the brand taking our services to enterprises and we have got all of these digital assets around the edges.
“We are not seeing that from EE. Outside of mobile and 4G I don’t know what their [offering is].”
However, Plumb’s said every operator will struggle selling 4G into enterprises, as his customers weren’t even interested in adopting the technology yet.
“We have looked at all of the other countries in the world that have got 4G and seen what they have done, and we have also spoken to our customers,” he said.
“What we have seen – both internationally and here – is that enterprises are taking a while to figure out what 4G can do for them.
“There is no mad rush to have it tomorrow. There are a few scare stories out there such as an employee downloading a movie and spending the company's entire month’s data plan in two hours. So, enterprises are thinking what controls and policies they need but also what business benefits it will bring.”
Plumb believed that was the job of the mobile provider – to show the enterprise customer how 4G could improve their firms.
“What they are expecting from us is for us to consult with them to help them figure out the business benefit of 4G,” he added. “Enterprises are not banging our door down for it which is part of the challenge for us, but we need to create the business uses for them.
“We have to help them find the benefits they can get from it. I can see some use cases, but what we have got to do is create those use cases.”
O2 won two 10MHz lots of the 800MHz spectrum in Ofcom’s recent auction to use for its 4G roll-out. The frequencies cost the firm £550m and Plumb said the company was “on track” to launch in the summer.