EE has unveiled its latest 4G deals: including a petabyte of data for £8m. Guess we'll have to update our 4G price comparison...
Just kidding: these are serious business deals for serious business people, as EE touts the advantages of 4G for big companies.
EE has created super bundles netting a firm 50TB, 100TB, 200TB, 500TB or 1PB of data. Each business will have a bespoke price plan, with data costing as little as £8 per gigabyte for a petabyte of data. The data allowance has no expiry date, no contract period, and can be used on up to 2,500 SIMs.
EE's back-of-the-envelope calculations reckon a petabyte is equivalent to 500 billion pages of standard printed text or 13 years of HD video streaming.
4G now provides a viable alternative to other forms of connectivity, such as expensive and inflexible satellite or cable links for data-intensive tasks like video conferencing or outside broadcast by TV companies.
"In countries that adopted 4G earlier such as Sweden and Germany, the broadcast industry was one of the first to adopt 4G -- with some success," says industry expert Jon Delaney, "uploading content and connecting to live outside broadcast in high definition."
And 4G is just one element of a move towards our mobile future. "More generally businesses are moving towards mobility as a primary IT platform. The process is not as advanced in Europe as in the US, but it is a definite trend."
'Data is the only growth market'
On the subject of EE's huge bundles, it's in the network's interest to keep a tiered pricing system. "Operators don't want to end up in an all-you-can-eat scenario," says John Delaney. "Revenue from calls and text is falling, so data is their only growth market. They don't want usage decoupled from pricing because if they go down that road, their effectiveness of attracting customers stops translating into extra revenue."
EE was the UK's first 4G network, recently celebrating a year of extra-fast data with the launch of 4G PAYG deals and the world's fastest LTE-Advanced 4G network for London businesses. O2, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile have also switched on 4G, with Three to follow next year.
Has your workplace gone mobile, and has it changed your life? And what would you do with a petabyte of data? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or make an outside broadcast on our Facebook page.