EE plans on growth from IoT-based innovation

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With over half a million business and public sector organisation accounts, EE is looking towards future growth potential and has released some insightful research in conjunction with the Centre for Economic & Business Research (CEBR) and YouGov into 4G adoption and the impact of the IoT on the UK economy.

The Internet of Things offers an exciting growth opportunity across industries to save money and/or become more efficient. Operators in particular are set to benefit from the Internet of Things as thousands of new devices seek to become connected. Just earlier today, our sister publication reported on the launch of Verizon's IoT platform in the US (EE beat them to market with their UK-equivalent launch of 'EE Connect' back in September!) 

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, says: “We’ve shown what 4G can do for consumers, and now businesses and the public sector are using the quality and reliability of the network that we’ve built to boost the UK economy and tackle some of the biggest issues facing Britain today." 

He continues: "The impact of 4G adoption on vital UK services is incredibly powerful. Helping the NHS and Emergency Services provide better service to the community, more cost effectively, is exactly the type of real world benefit that our world-leading mobile network enables. That’s why we’re launching our new capabilities for these sectors and helping them prepare for the IoT future where everything is connected.” 

EE has provided three examples of how 4G and the IoT are helping organisations and public services: 

  • In the NHS, mobile technologies can improve communications between patients and primary/secondary care providers, potentially reducing missed and unnecessary GP and outpatient appointments by 65% and saving £585million towards reducing the current £2billion deficit 
  • For house builders, getting connected to 4G in up to three days rather than waiting more than a month for broadband, enabling homes to be built more quickly, more cost-effectively, and with a lower carbon footprint 
  • For emergency services like Staffordshire Police, deploying 4G mobile devices could save 250,000 hours of front line staff time per year, the equivalent of more than 100 officers on the beat 

The research estimates the boost to UK Plc in 2015 due to efficiency gains from 4G and IoT adoption is now £8.9 billion, a number set to rise each year. Already, half of businesses say the technology is now critical to their competitiveness, and two-thirds claim it has boosted their productivity by 10% or more. 

Several organisations have provided quotes on what 4G and the IoT has meant for them: 

Dr. Magnus Harrison, Executive Medical Director Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Emergency Medicine Consultant, said: “Patients deserve to have the very best experience at every stage of their journey, and technology is a vital enabler for this. We must use mobile and digital technologies to break down barriers in healthcare, allowing us to better engage with our patients, to give them the most appropriate care, and to do that more efficiently and cost-effectively. Mobile-first products and services such as those from EE have the potential to deliver more connected care and the cost savings that the NHS so critically needs.” 

Colin Bloodworth, Head of Development Services at GreenSquare – home builders for social housing – said: “As an industry we are facing increasing pressure to build more homes to address the country's housing crisis, so anything that helps us to build more quickly, and cost-effectively, is welcome. If we can get working on a site without waiting for a fixed broadband connection, then we can save money and start building more homes – it's that simple. Being connected reduces contractor rates, reduces travel costs, improves carbon footprint, and gives an overall improved productivity.” 

Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, said: “My aspiration is for Staffordshire to be the most technologically advanced police service by 2016. Fast, reliable connectivity in the field means officers can spend more time in the community – allowing them to access critical systems remotely and cut the time they spend on administrative tasks. The ongoing roll-out of mobile technology to officers is helping to free up an extra 250,000 hours of police time to be out on the beat, the equivalent of over an extra 100 officers on duty." 

He continues: "Deploying 4G connected devices has already boosted efficiency, in some cases allowing officers to cut administrative time on jobs that could take days down to minutes. By providing high speed connectivity in vehicles as well, we'll be able to turn their police vehicles into hotspots – giving officers, support teams, and in the future partners, vital access to information on the move.” 

It's great to see EE realising the potential of the IoT and the role it plays in enabling deployments through 4G provision. For all operators the IoT presents a huge opportunity for growth in the coming years – with an expected revenue opportunity worth almost $68 billion (£44 billion) in residential devices alone in the next decade. 

Do you believe the IoT offers an important growth opportunity? Let us know in the comments.

To learn more about the Internet of Things be sure to visit IoT Tech Expo Europe; taking place in London's Olympia, 10-11 February 2016. 

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