Ever taken a minute to imagine where we would be without connectivity especially at this time when it has fully fueled the working from home culture necessitated by COVID-19 directives? And in this case we’re talking about 4G because as much as there is a lot of current hype about 5G, it is 4G that has been such a beast when communities and individuals most need connectivity. Standing at 52 per cent prevalence in the world’s mobile devices, it has provided for the data and connectivity needs of the new lifestyles taking shape since lockdown. Like shopping, socializing and keeping children in virtual school.
Other than ensuring that offices continue to operate, some at more optimal capacity than others, 4G has also laid the path for Government and healthcare bodies to communicate accurate information about the pandemic. Because fake news and inaccuracies is no way to fight a pandemic.
It has enabled citizens to see the not so good side of how Government may be handling things, complain loudly about it, and in some cases Government has actually listened, apologized and changed things. In the medical field, 4G has facilitated Telemedicine which has turned out to be quite a pillar in dealing not only with active disease cases, but also in other areas of health as well.
Entertainment cannot be underestimated in keeping people sane in lockdown either. This is evident with operators reporting that data usage has increased by more than 70 percent per customer. Take for example Netflix that had an additional 15,800 new subscribers to their platform.
In short, it is thanks to 4G that humanity has been able to rise to the challenges that have come with this pandemic and lockdown. For innovators to come up with opportunities and run with them. And this will remain the case for now. So critical is LTE to this new normal, that it must remain the priority infrastructure over the short term, while societies grapple with the pandemic.
During COVID-19, 4G networks have also been instrumental in supporting contact-tracing apps, which can locate and notify the contacts of infected individuals remotely, while still protecting the privacy of users. LTE networks have also provided free data to support contact tracking to do as much as possible to ensure the infection isn’t spread any further.