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Complex handsets stifle mobile data uptake

20 января 2009

Complex set-up issues are stifling the uptake and usage of new mobile applications and services, according to new research published Monday.

The survey of 4,000 U.K. and U.S. consumers concluded that 95% of mobile users would use more data services if set-up were easier.

Over-complication is also preventing 45% of people from upgrading to a more sophisticated handset.

"With the current economic climate, operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake," said Matt Bancroft, vice president at mobile device management (MDM) firm Mformation, which commissioned the study.

"The message from consumers is that phone set-up is simply too complex. Clearly this needs to be addressed," he commented.

Indeed, 78% of respondents said they would change their handsets more regularly if the set-up process was less painful. Similarly, 65% of respondents said they felt mobile operators are "losing out" as a result of this complexity.

Furthermore, vendors are not being helped by lengthy replacement cycles as more consumers find themselves tied to longer-term contracts of up to 24-months.

Respondents said that email, Web browsing, instant messaging and picture messaging are among the main services that don't work straight out of the box, and as a result 61% have stopped using these applications because they cannot solve the problems with them.

"Subscribers are clearly convinced of the value of mobile services," said Bancroft.

"However, 85% of the people we surveyed find it frustrating to have to go through a number of steps when they want to activate a service or application," he said.

The survey also found that people feel it should take no more than 15 minutes to correctly set up a new handset; however, Mformation said that the current average time is nearly an hour.

"'Up and running straight out of the box' means exactly that, and our research shows that improving this aspect of the mobile phone purchasing experience will help to improve the fortunes of many players in our industry," said Bancroft.

Источник: Total Telecom

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