What is in a name: Cellphone users say nothing special about 3G

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2015 18:04 IST

All the hooplah surrounding 3G may just be an illusion!

For Indian mobile users, 3G is just a name, and as slow as 2G — a wake-up call for operators who are betting on higher data revenue from third-generation technology.

“About 88% of Indian consumers of 2G feel that mobile broadband is too expensive, 53% feel mobile broadband adds no value, and 48% believe there is no difference between 2G and 3G speeds,” a report by telecom gear maker Ericsson has said.

The report, The Changing Mobile Broadband Landscape, highlights rising broadband usage in India. However, affordability and digital literacy remain primary obstacles, it added.

Other barriers to adoption include lack of awareness (15%), unavailability of value for money plans (36%), the inability to use smartphone and digital services (30%).

When it comes to overall mobile internet experience, good quality network performance is a must for all segments, according to the report. About 63% of users reported that they face quality and reliability issues, such as connection problems and inconsistent network speeds, while using a mobile phone indoors.

“For telecom operators, there is certainly an important take away... consumers are willing to pay for good quality of service,” said Ajay Gupta, vice-president and head of strategy and marketing, Ericsson India.

Operators also need to improve their data plans — 55% of those surveyed found data plans very difficult to understand, and 63% were not aware that they could actually create their own plan.

About 68% face app usage failures while commuting or outdoors, while 62% experience inconsistent speeds at outdoor destinations, and 63% complain of low web page load time even while indoors.

The study also throws up some interesting trends: In 2014-15, mobile broadband users above the age of 50 increased by about 5% over 2013-14. About 34% urban women currently use mobile internet.

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