January 15, 2013

Only 6% of Consumers Want 4G Now

We are preparing an article about the progress with the UK’s 4G auction as we thought a lot of people would be interested in its progress and when exactly Vodafone, O2 and Three will be launching 4G in the UK. However, the latest research now shows that although many may be interested few will currently commit to buying a 4G phone or tablet. The Huffington Post is reporting that it has obtained exclusive research feedback from Harris Interactive that only 6% of those questioned currently want to upgrade to 4G now.


The research also highlights that 53% of those questioned didn’t know if 4G was available where they lived or not and that 68% of those questioned were happy with their current 3G provider. Further, The Huffington Post says that 91% of Vodafone customers and 85% of O2 customers who were questioned were content enough with their current provider not to switch to EE and 4G.


This is not really a  surprise to 4G.co.uk, as 4G is in its infancy and one of the main issues is that EE ( which owns Orange and T-Mobile ) has only launched 4G in 18 cities to date with another 17 cities and towns getting 4G by March 2013. Whilst there is only one 4G mobile operator in the UK which is EE, people are wise enough to see that its pricing may be high and needs other 4G mobile operators to enter the market and provide pricing alternatives. This will occur sometime after May this year when Vodafone and O2 launch their own 4G networks.


One very interesting point to support the research findings above is that EE have not confirmed any Sales figures for its 4G phones and tablets so we assume they are not so good. Another issue is that the 4G phones and 4G tablets within EE’s portfolio are not exclusive in that they can be bought with 3G connectivity so they are eliminated from any 4G or 3G buying choice.


We also feel that whilst we are in the throes of a mighty recession people are tending to stick with their 3G phones and tablets or even switch to a cheaper provider like Three. Talking of Three they may not launch 4G until as late as September, 2013. More here about Three. To sum up Three’s position is simple. They are happy to update their aging 3G mobile network to the latest 3G standard called DC-HSDPA which they are calling “ultrafast mobile internet” and can theoretically hit download speeds of up to 20 megabytes.

4G.co.uk acknowledge the good research work from Harris Interactive and like to think that EE will give us some sales figures in the near future to provide a further insight into the take-up of 4G in the early stages of EE’s 4G mobile network launch schedule.