Majority American SMBs use 4G smartphones: AT&T poll

Telecom Lead India: Majority of American small businesses use 4G smartphones, according to a poll by AT&T.

According to the 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, which surveyed 1,000 small businesses nationwide, 98 percent of small businesses use some form of wireless technologies in their operations.

According to a report by IDC, SMBs in North America will spend around $162 billion on IT in 2012, growing at 6.3 percent annually from 2007.

The AT&T poll says 56 percent of smartphones used by SMB employees for business purposes are 4G, a 70 percent jump in usage from last year’s 33 percent. 90 percent of the businesses using 4G smartphones are satisfied with the speed.

While penetration of specific wireless technologies varies across small businesses, it’s clear that small businesses nationwide are open to adopting the latest devices and solutions, including tablets and mobile apps.

Cathy Martine, AT&T Executive Vice President of Small Business Solutions, said: “With the ongoing growth of remote workforces and with virtual offices gaining in popularity, mobility solutions from AT&T are becoming more important than ever in helping small businesses work better, smarter, and faster.”

41 percent SMB employees use wireless devices or wireless technologies to work away from the office.

The AT&T poll says 69 percent of small businesses surveyed indicate that they use tablet computers.

Results indicate that the larger the business, the more likely they are to use tablets, with 90 percent of those with 51 to 99 employees using them, compared to 69 percent of those with 50 or fewer employees.

Newer businesses are more likely to use tablets, with 80 percent that are less than 2 years old using them, compared to 69 percent of those two years and older.

85 percent of small businesses reported using smartphones for their operations, more than double the usage five years ago (42 percent).

31 percent of small businesses surveyed use mobile apps, with top three reasons being to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs.

AT&T said 47 percent of small businesses using mobile apps say they could not survive – or it would be a major challenge to survive – without them.

Of small businesses using mobile apps, GPS navigation and mapping are by far the most popular with 74 percent of business owners using them, followed by location-based services (43 percent); document management (35 percent); social media marketing (32 percent); and mobile payments in the field (30 percent).