With 4G set to roll out across the country, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of consumers would prefer more reliable data connectivity and over a third (34 per cent) just want better network coverage. According to research commissioned by Virgin Media Business, just 10 per cent of the UK public would switch networks based on 4G access. Price was the main reason people would consider a network provider switch but better performance and coverage were also on the wish list.
With the £3.5 billion 4G auction beginning this month, eyes are fixed on who’s bidding for what, what it will mean for mobile networks and the boost it will bring to the economy. Yet it seems that 4G isn’t the Holy Grail for mobile users, instead the public are looking to mobile network operators to invest in a range of different areas to improve existing technology and network coverage whilst always being conscious of providing the best value.
In fact, the understanding of speed is so low that nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of the respondents had no idea what data speeds they should be receiving with their current provider right now, let alone what might come in the future with 4G. What’s more, while 4G might be a focus, 3G is still yet to reach its full potential. Over 10 per cent of people surveyed said they rarely get 3G coverage as it should be, if at all and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) had no idea if they get 3G connectivity as it should be or not.
George Wareing, head of mobile and broadcast at Virgin Media Business, said: “It’s of course very exciting to see mobile network operators look into the future and make investments now in order to enable 4G connectivity. But it’s also critical that the bigger picture is not forgotten. The fact is that 4G is just part of the mobile jigsaw of a better connected Britain. It’s clear from our research that mobile operators and telcos like us need to work closely together to deliver a whole blend of improvements to make existing infrastructure work better as well as pave the way for future technology.
“Of course price will always be a factor with consumer purchasing decisions. However, by taking a holistic approach to improving reliability and quality as a whole, as well as giving customers a better understanding of how a robust mobile network works, operators will be able to differentiate themselves not just on price but on a better all-round service, setting themselves up perfectly to roll-out future technology such as 4G.”