It’s easy to say we live in the “age of the mobile” and PSU's new Head of Mobile, Lorne Fry knows exactly how they enable companies to deliver more results.
In this short Q & A session with PSU's marketing team, Lorne gives his thoughts on the mobile market and where it’s going.
Lorne, you've nearly two decades of mobile & digital services experience - how do you feel about the current state of the mobile market?
The market's extremely healthy and it's a fantastic time to be involved. Compared to 10 years ago when the iPhone launched, you can see how the whole world has changed. From faster handsets, equivalent to having a full computer in your pocket, to the ever-increasing number of apps for everything from food ordering to taxi hailing.
But, whilst the UK is one of Europe’s most competitive mobile markets, we still need to strengthen the network infrastructure.
Is it fair to say usage is only going to increase, as more businesses embrace mobility and users turn to their devices to access corporate data & apps?
Definitely, and all the forecasts reinforce this - 70% of professionals are expected to conduct business on their personal smart devices by 2018, along with a ten-fold explosion in mobile data usage by 2021.
This will put even more pressure on the network infrastructure and the delivery of greater capacity & data speeds. Providers still need to play catch up, filling patchy coverage and boosting speeds insufficient for the needs of business, particularly in rural areas.
IoT will only add to this pressure.
IoT – The Internet of Things?
It’s one of the most exciting developments for me now, and for the coming years. All manner of devices are becoming connected, as businesses look to harness the data to improve their efficiency, risk management and opportunities.
From machine-to-machine communications on the factory floor and smart devices on freighters monitoring their location, speed & cargo temperature. The huge expansion of IoT is expected to add an extra £300bn to the UK economy by 2020.
You can easily see how there will be larger data requirements and the need for faster speeds.
When you consider the pace of IoT’s adoption within the manufacturing, transportation, utility & healthcare industries - sectors where we’re gaining growing numbers of customers – you can clearly realise the impact it’s already having.
We see lots of potential for our customers to improve their processes & efficiency. As an example, highway maintenance - IoT devices could have many day to day uses. From roadside traffic counters, cameras and weather stations, to smart traffic signals and street lighting. Up and down the country, real-time data from a growing number of devices can be used to improve traffic flows, driving conditions and road safety.
So where does PSU fit into this?
As with all our services, we’ll play to our strengths in developing and managing solutions for our customers.
Already this year, we’ve strengthened our offering with access to all the major networks, so we’re now able to support businesses with multiple network options. This is especially beneficial for multi-site companies with widely spread offices and staff, who need to maintain consistent voice & data coverage throughout the country.
We’ll also look to expand our range of services - building on the success of solutions such as Mobile Device Management – to help businesses to better manage, secure and optimise the performance of their mobile workforce & devices.
Final thoughts on mobile - phones (devices) are the most obvious way we think about this area – what’s happening for businesses?
An interesting trend is the lengthier sweating of mobile assets.
While only a few years ago most firms would be happy to pay more for their tariff to get a free phone with lots of new features, the slowdown in major smartphone technology developments means more of them are looking to hold onto their hardware for longer. To reduce their ongoing tariff costs, businesses are also exploring finance agreements for their mobile hardware.
We’ll also look to provide greater flexibility for customers, particularly those interested in finance agreements on hardware, to help support fast growing or developing mobile estates.