October 30, 2012
We now have the launch from the EE network (Everything Everywhere the company that owns Orange and T-Mobile) of their 4G services in 11 cities from 30th October 2012. These cities include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. A further six cities are expected to come online before the end of the 2012 (Derby, Hull, Nottingham, Newcastle and Southampton). It should also be available on the other networks from mid-2013 after Vodafone and O2 finally catch up.
Currently the iPhone 5 4G will only work on the EE network which again will put Vodafone and O2 on the back foot and realistically it will be late 2013 when Apple releases the next generation iPhone before will be 4G compatible for all UK networks (EE, Vodafone, O2 and 3) . Fortunately most other 4G devices will be compatible on all the networks when they are announced 4G ready.
In April 2012, according to stats produced by Litmus, the number of mobile opens in a month exceeded the number of desktop opens for the first time ever and we expect this to continue to rise.
If you haven’t already, it’s worth reading Simon’s blog about Email design for mobile devices. Sooner rather than later redesigning/updating your email templates should be carried out to accommodate mobile email clients.
4G really is exciting news for consumers as we can expect to see data speeds up to 5 times faster than the current 3G network which will result in increasing numbers using their new 4G devices to view their email.
Data speed will mean little or no wait time for emails to load with images. T3.com carried out a website speed test on the iPhone 5 3G and 4G networks. The iPhone 5 3G speed was 6.53 seconds compared to the 4G speed was 2.40 seconds. Although it’s not a test for email loading it gives us a fair indication of the time it would take for an email to load. 2.40 seconds is under the 3-5 seconds that an average person waits for a web page to load before they look elsewhere. Also this does not take into account the fact that the Galaxy S3 LTE is said to be quicker in its website loading capabilities(according to CNET).
This could potentially lead to an increase in open rates as people won’t get fed up of waiting for images to download within emails. The hardware and network is now powerful enough to open up the opportunity for email clients to potentially include multimedia rich content within emails.
4G has the potential to inspire and change the way we communicate with each other through email, we just need a little help from the email client software developers to get the ball rolling.
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