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4G-Force: self-employed leading mobile internet

Figures from Make It Cheaper research show that over two-thirds of self-employed smartphone owners use their mobile device to connect to the internet throughout the day.

The adoption of smartphones among small business owners has hit 60% with the self-employed taking the lead in time spent online using their mobile devices, according to a survey of 512 SMEs conducted by Make It Cheaper.

Figures from the research show that over two-thirds (67.5%) of self-employed smartphone owners use their mobile device to connect to the internet throughout the day with over a quarter (27%) continually connected. This compares to half (51.5%) of all SMEs connecting on a daily basis and the figure for permanent connection decreases in relation to the size of the business they operate. The proportion of smartphone owners constantly connected to the internet, for example, is as follows:

  • Self-Employed = 27%
  • 2-10 Employees = 20%
  • 11-50 Employees = 14%
  • 51-100 Employees = 7%

When asked what business purposes they used their smartphones for, the (72) self-employed respondents to the Make It Cheaper survey answered as follows:

  • 66% Online accounts - eg banking
  • 48% Facebook
  • 37% Posting on forums
  • 37% LinkedIn
  • 33% Downloads - eg eBooks/publications
  • 25% Twitter
  • 22% Podcasts
  • 20% Google+

Make It Cheaper's research suggests there is likely to be a rapid uptake of 4G services from the UK's three million strong army of sole proprietors. According to a separate study by Everything Everywhere, almost three quarters of small businesses intend to sign-up to 4G within 12 months.*

However, Mashud Miah, business telecoms expert at Make It Cheaper, commented: "Businesses should not rush to purchase the heavily-advertised consumer 4G tariffs but, instead, seek out business deals. These - available imminently - will be 20% cheaper and cater to the more bespoke needs of small businesses. The price saving is particularly relevant to sole traders for whom the difference is likely to be £150 a year for the same service. For those wanting to get on a 4G plan, there is a range of compatible smartphones currently available including: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Nokia Lumina range, HTC One XL and others.

A more cautious approach is to consider staying on 3G until Vodafone and O2 release their 4G service plans in May next year, which will of course create competition for EE and inevitably drive down prices. For the best 3G options available in the market, speak to one of our Mobile Experts today, who'd be happy to talk you through them."

For more information, contact Make It Cheaper on 0800 068 2502 or visit


About Make It Cheaper

Established in 2007 and based in Central London with 126 staff, Make It Cheaper is the number one destination for businesses to get a better deal on their utilities and other services. It receives more enquiries and arrange more new contracts than any other business price comparison service. These include the business customers of major domestic price comparison services with whom Make It Cheaper has partnerships, as well as many nationwide trade associations and charity membership organisations. Acting on behalf of these customers with total impartiality and free-of-charge, Make It Cheaper offers year-on-year savings across a range of products including: business energy, telecoms, insurance and merchant services (chip & PIN). By switching suppliers or helping to renegotiate deals with existing ones, it will typically save over 30% of costs - as well as a considerable amount of time that its customers can then spend on running their businesses. Make It Cheaper is currently ranked 39th in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and has 2012 Net Promoter Score of 75%.