Thursday, January 26, 2012

Users Unclear About 4G Value

As you might expect, early adopters have clearer expectations about new technology, or at least want to "play" with new technologies, in a way that mainstream consumers do not share.

A recent study by Analysys Mason suggests that is the case for potential smart phone customers.

Many are not sure why they ought to buy and use smart phones, nor are they clear about why "fourth generation" networks have value.

More than six percent of all surveyed
mobile users believe that they lready have a 4G handset, which is obviously not yet true.

More than half of them do not understand mobile network generations or are unsure of the connectivity generation of their phone. The study also suggests that about 28 percent of
iPhone users believe that they have a 4G-capable handset.

Some 46 percent of iPhone 4 users also believe they already have 4G devices, even though no iPhones currently support 4G Long Term Evolution or WiMAX connections.

Also, except for PC dongle users, for whom the clear advantage is speed, and, in some cases, improved latency performance, the specific advantages of 4G are unclear.

That state of affairs is not unusual for broadband networks. Up to this point, the main advantage between one generation of broadband and the next is "speed." People instinctively understand "faster."

But 3G mobile networks did not lead immediately to significantly new uptake of new applications, until quite recently, when, for most users, 3G has meant a better web browsing experience. So far, it is not clear that most users can perceive the advantage of a "better" mobile web experience using 4G, as opposed to 3G, with the salient exception of mobile PC users.

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