May 19, 2020

GSMA REPORT: Half of Europe's Mobiles on 4G by 2020

Telecommunications
reports
Technology
GSMA
Annifer Jackson
3 min
GSMA REPORT: Half of Europe's Mobiles on 4G by 2020

Europe’s rapid migration to 4G services and devices, which will account for more than half of all connections by 2020, is helping to stimulate a recovery in the continent’s mobile industry, according to a new GSMA report.

The new study, ‘Mobile Economy: Europe 2014’, finds that 4G use will grow rapidly from the 10 percent of mobile connections in early 2015.

This trend is fuelling consumer demand for a new wave of innovative mobile services, helping European operators move towards a stabilisation of revenues and margins following several years of declines in one of the world’s most competitive mobile regions.

The report also calls for a new era of partnership between the mobile industry and EU policymakers aimed at encouraging next-generation network investment and innovation, and delivering a dynamic digital single market.

Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA, said: “There are encouraging signs that Europe’s mobile industry is beginning to recover as both operators and consumers begin to see the benefit from the billions of euros of investment in 4G networks over the last few years.

“Europe’s mobile operators are embracing new technologies and new business models, leading innovation in areas such as M2M, digital commerce, mobile identity and advanced network services.

“But this positive outlook for the industry remains fragile, especially in light of renewed concerns over the macro-economic situation in Europe. The industry is therefore looking forward to working with the new European Commission and Parliament to build a common agenda that enables a sustainable recovery and powers a world-leading digital economy and connected society.”

Network Investments and Smartphones Driving 4G Adoption

Europe is expected to have 431 million unique mobile subscribers by year-end, representing 79 percent of the region’s population – the highest penetration rate of any region worldwide.

Unique subscribers are forecast to rise to 454 million by 2020, an 82 percent penetration rate. The number of mobile connections, excluding M2M, currently stands at 688 million and is forecast to rise to 762 million by 2020.

4G is forecast to account for 53 percent of mobile connections in Europe by this point, up from just five percent at the start of 2014 and 10 percent at the start of 2015. This rapid technology migration is being driven by expanding 4G network coverage and the increasing adoption of 4G smartphones, tablets, dongles and other data devices.

4G networks currently cover 63 percent of the European population, having surpassed the 50 percent milestone earlier this year. 4G networks in Europe are increasingly being deployed using the ‘Digital Dividend’ spectrum freed up by the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting for use by the mobile operators, which is enabling greater coverage reach. 4G networks are expected to be accessible by 83 percent of the European population by 2020.

Meanwhile, smartphones are set to account for more than half of the region’s mobile connections by the end of 2015 – a milestone that has already been reached in several major individual markets, including France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

It is forecast that there will be 564 million smartphones connections in Europe by 2020, accounting for almost three quarters of total connections by that point.

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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