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Public sector workers falling behind in 4G adoption

New research has suggested the uptake of 4G technology among public sector employees is slow and just 8 per cent of frontline workers are equipped with the connectivity.

This is according to Vodafone, which asked research firm YouGov to investigate how 4G is being used by the public sector.

The telecoms giant claims that 4G provides the opportunity for faster and more cost effective community based services for citizens, but Whitehall and beyond are missing out on this.

The study claims that 42 per cent of public sector decision makers lack knowledge of the benefits of 4G, while 30 per cent said that perceptions of cost is the main reason they have not adopted the connectivity technology.

However, Vodafone believes that frontline workers such as Police officers, nurses and social workers would all benefit from the speed and capacity by being able to update records electronically while out in the community and access critical information on the move.

It also claims that 4G has the ability to improve critical decision making in the field, reduce time spent on administration and ultimately help to improve the services provided to citizens.

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

“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 then Police where every second counts, 4G really can make a big difference,” he added.

Supporting Decision Makers’ Priorities

It is possible to upload and download large files, applications and critical information in an instant with 4G connectivity, and 54 per cent of those surveyed said this is of importance to their organisation.

Some 62 per cent said improving operational efficiency is in their top three priorities, follow by improved customer experience (51 per cent) and reducing overall business costs (50 per cent).

Vodafone claims that 4G is capable of supporting all these objectives.