If you listen to the ramblings of the various UK networks, 4G is the Next Big Thing in mobile, a must-have technology bringing significantly faster data speeds on the move. But are consumers on the same page? Do they know – or care – about 4G?
Well, no, not really, according to the results of a YouGov poll collating the thoughts of 1,456 UK residents aged 16 and over.
Apparently, eight in ten (80% of) consumers are aware of 4G, though only one-fifth (21%) feel they fully understand what the technology offers.
Almost half of all respondents (48%) claim a “vague understanding” of 4G, while one in three (31%) admit to having no idea.
While around a quarter (23%) of consumers are “excited” about 4G, a worrying (for the networks, at least) 35% say none of 4G’s features are of interest to them. More than half (55%) reckon 4G will be too expensive, while two-thirds (66%) have no interest in forking out for a new 4G-compatible phone.
With regards to 4G pricing, YouGov found that those embracing the technology pay an average of £14.70 per month extra.
Russell Feldman, YouGov’s Technology & Telecoms Director, yells: “That a lot of consumers can’t see the point of 4G presents a real challenge to operators as more of them roll out 4G to their customers.
“The low levels of understanding about what 4G offers indicates that networks need to be savvy when selling it to consumers – showing not just that it exists but also what it does. Take-up is likely to be a slow burn as consumers hold off making decisions until they see it in action.”
At present, EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) is the only UK mobile network to offer 4G, but it’ll soon be joined by O2, Vodafone and Three Mobile, and not forgetting BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures.