Monday, June 24, 2024

    EDITORIAL Health, wealth and happiness?

    News that O2 is rolling out a dedicated managed service to healthcare professionals marks an interesting move for both the UK’s NHS, but also the carrier community.

    The new O2 Health Tariffis a connectivity package exclusively for health organisations.  Aimed at giving health professionals the connectivity they need at an affordable price, the tariff aims to help organisations meet the NHS goal of being paper free at point of care by 2020.

    From just £12 a month per user (ex. VAT) the O2 Health Tariff offers unlimited calls and texts with 2GB of data per user per month, allowing data to be shared between other users. O2 was the first network to achieve government CAS(T) approval, meaning customers can be confident that patient critical data is safe hands.

    The move marks an interesting shift in corporate mobile, tapping into a specific group and offering them somewhat bespoke services that cater more specifically to their needs.

    For healthcare professionals, O2 is offering central device management and configuration, SIM management and intrusion protection, but it is not hard to see that packages such as this could be rolled out to other verticals, with similar bespoke control.

    What is particularly interesting is that with 5G around the corner, this also marks a step change in how operators look at what they sell and how they sell it.

    While this move is focussed on a package of 4G telecoms and data services, it is a nice toe in the water to see how packaged services work. And this is vital because, in the 5G world, there is so much more that can be done with network bandwidth – and so much more that will be demanded of it – that the way operators sell and what they sell is going to change.

    Wireless connectivity is now seen as a utility in offices, shops, public spaces and homes. It is like water, electricity and sewerage: you can’t live without it. And 5G offers MNOs the ability to do way more with their networks than previously thought possible.

    Sure, in the 5G world this healthcare package could also include the ability for doctors to remotely diagnose using HD video or even for surgeons to carry out surgery remotely. However, it will also allow carrier to package up connectivity and use it in-building to offer much more secure, faster and better wireless connectivity than possible with today’s wifi.

    Such a packaged service – and others like it – really shakes up what MNOs will be able to offer. Rolling out in-building networks and seamless carry over to outdoor networks sits nicely alongside the device and SIM management currently on offer.

    Extending this to other sectors and their buildings – not to mention to their cars, their ships, their aircraft and more – and you have the beginnings of a whole new telecoms service paradigm. Interesting times lie ahead.

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