Business apps: Getting business smart

We’re all familiar with smartphone apps – from accessing the latest news headlines and managing our health and fitness to pre-planning TV consumption or staying in touch with friends through social media.

The popularity and pervasiveness of consumer apps is now blending seamlessly into the business sphere and with higher performance mobile networks thanks to 4G speeds, businesses of all sizes are embracing the opportunity to do things differently.

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Business Broadband: Greater speed drives greater need

It might come as some surprise to learn that at 13.9 Mbps, Ireland has catapulted itself to seventh fastest in the world for average broadband speeds.

According to Akamai’s ‘State of the Internet’ report for Q3 2014, this represents a 10 per cent increase quarter on quarter and a staggering 47 per cent increase year on year.

Following acres of newsprint and hours of airtime, ongoing agitation for broadband network investment is paying dividends, on the surface at least.

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Strong 4G adoption enabling greater mobility

In its latest assessment of the telecommunications market, ComReg reveals that the number of smartphone/tablet users increased to 2,811,170 in Q2 2014, up by 3.4 per cent from Q1 2014 and a whopping 14.7 per cent compared to Q2 2013.

And with global pre-orders of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 plus currently standing at over 4 million units, our love affair with the smart device and the immediacy of staying connected on the go, is set to continue.

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Business broadband choices: moving and shaking

Momentum in the broadband market has gathered pace with a raft of acquisitions, joint venture and strategic alliance announcements of late.

ESB and Vodafone have embarked on a joint venture to invest €450 million in a 100 per cent fibre-to-the-building broadband network offering speeds from 200 Mbps to 1000 Mbps across 50 towns and 500,000 homes and businesses.  Mobile network operator, Three has just completed its acquisition of O2 and the company has also recently signed a 4G network sharing agreement with eircom to run until 2030.

Should businesses be concerned about this level of market flux and does increased consolidation weaken competitive forces?

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Bringing broadband connectivity to the promised land

It’s a tiresome debate – tackling the rural/urban broadband deficit, yet high speed, reliable broadband connectivity is as important as other key pieces of economic infrastructure.

Just ask the people of the UK, who in a recent survey for the Institution of Engineering and Technology said that extending superfast broadband nationwide would deliver more economic benefits than building new airports.

Minister White inherits the unfortunate accolade of being the fifth minister of communications to publicly proclaim that high-speed, broadband connectivity will be made available to all, irrespective of geographic location.

So is there any reason to believe that the National Broadband Plan (NBP) – designed to inject a further €1 billion of investment to tackle this infrastructural deficit through a public/private partnership model – will come to fruition under his stewardship?

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Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface

Sweating the Assets

It’s a question that Gavan Smyth, VP of business services with UPC is frequently asked.  “You have 200Mbps connectivity but do you really need that much for 10 employees?”

The answer is ‘yes’ he says because clients start using the internet a lot more and use different services to increase productivity.

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