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Vodafone: 4G can make a 'big difference' to public service workers

Tuesday, September 1st 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Britain’s frontline public sector workers could deliver better public services if they had access to 4G, according to Vodafone.

The provider's comments come after a YouGov survey found that just 8% of frontline workers – including police officers, district nurses and social workers – are equipped with 4G devices.

The survey of 1,401 public sector 'decision makers', commissioned by Vodafone, gave an insight into possible reasons for the slow uptake of the technology.

42% said it was due to a lack of knowledge of its benefits while the perception of the overall costs involved in getting 4G was given as a reason by 30% of respondents.

Vodafone said fast mobile connectivity would improve critical decision making in the field, reduce time spent on administration and ultimately improve the service provided to citizens.

“As public sector organisations face continued budget cuts, delivering quality services to citizens is an increasing challenge,” said Mick Wayman, head of public sector at Vodafone UK.

“Armed with cost-effective mobile devices and 4G connectivity, frontline workers can access and update centralised records such as medical and criminal history while they are out in the field.

“This helps them to make better decisions in the moment, eliminates the need to go ‘back to base’ to complete paperwork and reduces time spent on administration.

“They can reinvest time and resource where they’re needed most, whether that’s visiting a patient in their own home, on the beat, or elsewhere in the community. In frontline services such as the police where every second counts, 4G really can make a big difference.”

'Tear down the barriers'

More than half of those surveyed (54%) said uploading and downloading critical information quickly is very or fairly important to their organisation.

Vodafone said fast, high capacity connectivity would support this as well as public sector decision makers’ top three priorities – improving operational efficiency (62%), improving customer experience (51%) and reducing overall business costs (50%).

However, the research found there is still some way to go for the public sector to realise 4G’s potential to help meet its top priorities.

Mr Wayman added: “We are working with public sector organisations to tear down the barriers standing in the way of putting 4G connectivity in the hands of more of Britain’s frontline.

“We are helping organisations to understand how the technology can assist in driving efficiency, delivering better services to citizens and meeting their key priorities.

“It’s our job to make 4G as accessible as possible by offering cost-effective technology that is easy to implement.

“We want to ensure that those on the frontline are able to take advantage of the right technologies, such as 4G, that will help them to do their jobs in the most effective way possible, now and in the future.”

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