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UK adopts mobile broadband, but customer satisfaction low

19 августа 2008

Mobile broadband services are starting to take off in the U.K., according to new statistics, but there is cause for concern for operators as a high percentage of users indicate they will not renew their contracts.

Approximately one in eight U.K. consumers have either replaced their fixed-line Internet connection with a mobile alternative or chosen a mobile broadband service from the start, research published by YouGov on Monday showed.

The survey refers to mobile Internet access via a computer equipped with a data card or USB dongle.

However, more than a quarter of mobile broadband subscribers said they are unlikely to renew their contracts, citing slow connection speeds and high prices as their main complaints.

"Customers find mobile broadband easy to use and install but transmission speeds and to a lesser extent network coverage reduce the initial enjoyment of getting up and running," said Marek Vaygelt, head of technology and telecommunications consulting at YouGov, in a statement.

He commented that fixed-line ISPs still have a distinct advantage when it comes to network coverage and transmission speeds – advantages that they can leverage in their marketing campaigns.

Small usage allowances and the fact that mobile broadband is not an always-on service were the other reasons given for users' decisions not to carry on with mobile Internet.

The findings will concern the
U.K.'s mobile operators, which are keen to drive mobile broadband usage, to the extent that some are even offering subsidised laptops with their mobile Internet packages.

For example,
Orange last week launched the first mobile Web package in its 'connected laptop' range.

The offer includes an Asus Eee PC, a USB dongle and 3 gigabytes of usage for £25 per month on a 24-month contract.

"Over time we will be expanding our offering even further with more suppliers who are at the forefront of laptop technology," said Francois Mahieu, director of devices at Orange UK, at the time.

However, YouGov stressed that customer satisfaction is higher on the list of priorities than the laptops that are on offer.

"Operators need to consolidate by improving their networks and tackling the fear and uncertainty that some potential new customers have about price," said Vaygelt.

Источник: Total Telecom

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