A LOT of good things have been said about the marvels of the 4G LTE broadband internet revolution. It has been called both “the future platform for a truly mobilised workforce” and “the enabler of new mobile business models.”
But what is true and actually possible – and what is only big words and pipedreams of marketing companies and tech-geeks? In an effort to describe some of the real-world benefits that businesses in Tanzania can expect from 4G LTE, this article digs deep into both experiences and survey data from countries where 4G LTE has already been deployed, exploring the development in three specific areas of work relevant to Tanzania, namely construction, retail and transport.
Any given new high-rise building in downtown Dar es Salaam can have a global history that the average spectator has no idea about. Nowadays, it’s not unusual that buildings are drawn in South Africa and built with know-how from Europe and materials from China and India.
As building projects get more complex and the need for temporary work locations on-site arises, fast mobile applications can greatly improve productivity, agility and cost-effectiveness. Meetings between contractors, architects and building teams can be held online through video conferences, thus saving travel costs and use superfast 4G LTE to instantly share construction plans without the use of couriers.
In a survey made by a British consultant company Arthur D. Little, 77 per cent of construction executives surveyed say they use 4G mobile devices to enable working in new locations. Tablet devices seem to be the most commonly used mobile device on many construction sites and are seen by many as ‘revolutionising the industry.’
In the oil, gas and mining industry, employees stationed in remote areas can seek comfort in being close to family and friends through crystal clear video calls.
The livelihood of many Tanzanians depend on success in the retail business – and here the wonders of 4G LTE broadband internet might come in handy, if one seeks to dominate the market. 4G LTE is already being used to improve marketing and customer service, provide in-store connectivity and to widen the possibilities of buying bulk and reaching new customers.
In Europe – and there is no reason to believe that the future will be different for Tanzania – the key drivers of mobile technology in the retail industry are driven by new ways to reach consumers – increasingly over mobile devices. This means targeted marketing by tailoring communications to specific segments and engaging individuals directly.