Vodafone Says Customers Embrace Video Apps With Fast 4G Service

Video is becoming a key application for smartphone users switching to faster mobile services, making the rollout of 4G technology across Europe vital for business, Vodafone Group Plc’s head of global enterprise said today.

Vodafone already offers 4G service in 12 European markets and said take-up is accelerating among customers, Jan Geldmacher said at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit in London today. “4G allows us to have the same standard on a worldwide basis,” he said. “The applications are what counts for the customers and this is a technology that’s evolving very fast.”

Even with the benefits of the faster mobile technology, Europe’s rollout of 4G lags behind America and Asia, and the U.K. is among the slowest in the region to offer such service, said Ian Fogg, head of mobile and telecoms at IHS Technology. 4G mobile networks offer more bandwidth and faster data speeds than 3G, and are especially beneficial for streaming music, face-to-face phone chats and watching video and films.

Customers “want applications in the cloud that will work in a secure, always-connected way,” Vodafone’s Geldmacher said.

Companies that operate sports stadiums, airports and other busy public spaces are “waking up quicker than traditional businesses” to the benefits of 4G, said Rob Shaddock, chief technology officer at TE Connectivity.

“We see more people wanting to do video; it adds an extra dimension to the conversation,” Shaddock said. Operators need to ensure comprehensive coverage for 4G as even in big cities coverage is currently spotty, he added.