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The launch of 4G mobile broadband services will initially benefit businesses, rather than the wider consumer market, it has been claimed.

Michel Robert, Managing Director at Claranet, claimed that patchy coverage and short battery life means 4G may not prove the immediate boon that many individuals are hoping for.

“The UK has been lagging behind other major economies in rolling out 4G, so it is no surprise that there is a lot of excitement being generated about the initial rollout by EE, as well as the coming auction of the rest of the spectrum,” he stated.

"However, 4G on consumer mobile devices is a bit of a red herring - at least until battery life improves."

Mr Robert claimed that 4G "absolutely kills mobile batteries" - a combination of the increased processing power required for data-intensive communications, and the need to switch between 4G and 3G networks in areas of patchy coverage.

And until this issue is resolved, 4G will be most relevant to businesses - which can utilise fixed 4G devices - as opposed to consumers.

They will be able to use a 4G-enabled router to access cheap, fast and effective back-up connectivity in the event of any disruption to their main network.

"Rather than invest in redundant physical networks, businesses will instead be able to connect via a super-fast mobile connection," the expert claimed.

Mr Robert said the implications for businesses "could be immediate", by enabling them to switch seamlessly to a service delivered over the mobile spectrum at a fraction of the cost of a redundant cable connection.

This ability will appeal in particular to small companies, he claimed.

"And because this would predominantly involve mains powered devices, the issue of battery life doesn’t arise," Mr Robert noted.

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