As mobile devices become ever more capable, data usage continues to grow at an incredible rate. Staying connected on the move is about far more than just sending texts and receiving calls, of course – there are much greater requirements to be satisfied, from playing Words With Friends to uploading photos of food and kittens to Instagram.
As 4G networks connect us with the rest of the world at ever-greater speeds, our data consumption looks set to explode even further. But consumers aren’t the only ones looking to get the most out of these technological advancements; businesses too are reaping the benefits of faster mobile networks.
EE, the U.K.’s largest 4G network, predicts that businesses will consume 860% more mobile data by 2016 compared with today. But feedback from its business customers has revealed that many are struggling to anticipate exactly how their data consumption needs will change in the medium-term and beyond.
This is a problem that EE is keen to resolve with the launch of its new Super Bundles. Business and enterprise customers can now purchase these huge and highly flexible data packages, ranging from 50 terabytes (TB) up to a massive one petabyte (PB) – that’s one million gigabytes. EE says that 1PB is roughly equivalent to a billion 40-slide PowerPoint presentations or thirteen years of continuous HD video streaming.
There are many potential advantages for businesses buying a Super Bundle. They come with no fixed contract period and no expiry date, and there is no charge for adding or removing new users to share in the pool of data, bringing exactly the kind of functionality and flexibility that many businesses demand. Companies can even choose to pay in full upfront, or to spread their payments over time.
So, just how much does a 1PB data bundle cost? A cool £8m GBP ($12.86m USD), which – at that pricing tier – works out at £8 ($12.86) per gigabyte. EE points out that this could offer huge savings for data-intensive industries, such as broadcast.
Outdoor broadcasts typically rely on satellite uplinks to relay video streams to transmission centres, and EE claims that this kind of arrangement typically costs around £20 ($32) per gigabyte. Satellite connections must also be pre-booked, and only remain open for a limited period of time. EE’s setup offer far greater flexibility, with lower costs and no requirement to book a connection in advance. The company says that it offers average upload speeds of 24-30Mbps, but as we reported recently, it is also trialling 300Mbps connections.
Sadly, EE’s Super Bundles are only available for business customers, so if you were hoping to add a few hundred terabytes of data to your personal price plan, you’re out of luck.