Thursday, February 11, 2010

Users Prefer Flat-Rate Pricing. Duh!

Mobile internet users across the United Kingdom and United States prefer flat-rate pricing, a new survey by YouGov has found. That finding should surprise nobody in the U.S. market, given the development of the whole Internet access business since AOL dropped metered billing and went to flat rate packaging.

Unsurprisingly, respondents said they would use the mobile Web more if flat rate access is available. That does not necessarily suggest consumers would reject flat-rate plans that are tiered for usage, even if any rational consumer would say they prefer a low flat rate for unlimited usage.

Smartphone users might be used to low rate, unlimited access, but users of mobile PC dongles and cards are well accustomed to the idea that usage and price are related for "buckets" of usage.

Some 4,324 consumers,18 or older, were polled as part of the study.

In the United Kingdom, 33 percent of respondents  reported that they don't use the Internet despite having access on their phone, while 25 percent of U.S. respondents with an Internet-ready phone say they do not use that feature.

The study also found that users want Web sites and services optimized for their specific mobile device, especially if it means that they could more quickly access the services they want. About 32 percent of respondents say that would increase their usage.

About 51 per cent of all respondents said they were only prepared to spend up to three minutes surfing for a specific piece of content on their phones, emphasizing the importance of navigation and usability.

About 13 percent of U.K. users, and 17 percent of U.S. respondents now access the Internet more than once a day from their phones. About 27 per cent of U.K. consumers and 28 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed now use the mobile Internet at least once a week, if not more.

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