opinion column uk

4G data limits set to cripple UK entertainment and tech industries

© Filiberto Santillán

The ongoing expansion of the UK digital economy faces a significant hurdle with severe data limits imposed by all of the main mobile operators on people using smartphones.

With 93% of the UK covered by 4G and speeds being on average 14mbps or more, the technology exists to deliver people internet on the move via their mobile phones however they can’t even access it freely in 2015.

For the entertainment and tech industry, this poses a big problem. Consumers are effectively being crippled by the data limits and can’t fully use applications on the move without having to conserve their usage depending on the data they are allowed to consume in their contract.

In the next 12 months, apps like Periscope and Meerkat that allow people to stream video live, will start to become more prevalent along with a host of new technologies and tools for people as well as businesses in the mobile space. This is a huge growth opportunity for the UK that will be missed while other countries catch on and deliver unlimited 4G internet.

Since the Windows 95 era, we’ve used our home modem to power our internet usage but today mobile is becoming the centre for everything, and that means that the home wifi is technically obsolete.

So in 2015, why are consumers being forced to conserve the data they use on the move even though the entire market is about to go through a transformation and mobile computing is the future for every industry?

The UK will inevitably fall behind other countries with these 4G data limits as foreign investment in the tech and entertainment industries go elsewhere. As it stands, content currently can’t be delivered to people that want it due to these restrictions and this will ultimately prevent many companies from growing in the digital space.

Mobile internet is the future for the UK's digital economy. From productivity tools to movies, live streaming and more, it is essential that UK consumers are allowed to access data without limits.

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