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Undesirable content blamed for lack of 3G uptake

: Tuesday, October 17 - 2006 @ 09:46

The annual Global Technology Insight (GTI) study by TNS has identified little increase in 3G technology usage amongst consumers who see mobile TV and surfing the net as costly and unnecessary.

At a global level, almost a quarter of people cite cost as the main obstacle to them using 3G (23 per cent). A fifth of people (21 per cent) are not downloading songs to their mobile primarily because of the expense, and 23 per cent choose not to surf the internet on their phone because it costs too much to do so.

Amongst mobile users in the Middle East (UAE and Saudi Arabia), however, it is mainly lack of interest and lack of need rather than cost that are most frequently cited as reasons why people are not downloading music, surfing the internet or watching real time television broadcasts on their handsets. Additionally, mobile users in North Africa report lack of either network or handset support for these services.

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The study revealed, in fact, fewer people globally today aspire to have these facilities than they did a year ago. According to the TNS study 7 per cent of those surveyed in 2005 listed 3G as a priority feature to have on future mobile phones, compared with just 4 per cent in 2006. And across the Middle East and N. Africa, where the vast majority of those not already using their handset to surf or download expressed little or no interest in starting in the next 12 months, it would appear that significant change to either content or pricing is needed if 3G is ever going to achieve widespread usage.

Deepak Kudkilwar, TNS Group Account Director in Dubai said, “Clearly there is need to build interest in these services and support 3G through application content that will motivate customers to try and regularly use 3G services”.

James Fergusson, Regional Director, TNS Technology, comments; “Given that cost is a key obstacle to the adoption of more advanced mobile services globally, providing affordable pricing regimes that are fixed for unlimited use is a necessary first step if service providers are to at least stimulate user interest. However, if content continues to be uninteresting or surplus to requirements, providers’ only hope is that pricing can sustain adoption long enough that the association between core 3G applications and more traditional media diminishes, at which point mobile surfing and TV viewing become normalised.”

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Tuesday, October 17- 2006 @ 9:46 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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