3G services are shunned by almost three-quarters (73%) of people who use mobile phone, even though they own compatible handsets, according to a survey.
The news will come as a blow to the telecoms industry as it gathers at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. The research, commissioned by communications industry customer services specialist Netonomy, and carried out by YouGov, also revealed 79% of people questioned believed mobile services are becoming more complicated. The figure was 71% last year.
Conversely, some 8% of respondents plan to upgrade to a 3G handset this year, compared to 4% in 2005.
John Hughes, co-founder and executive vice-president of Netonomy, states: “The results of this research will be disappointing for the mobile industry. Real consumer demand for 3G is still low. “Operators have spent billions of dollars on 3G licences, and billions more on developing the technology, but it still looks like customers are fairly indifferent towards the services they can provide.”
Nokia has predicted sales of 3G handsets will reach 100 million units globally this year. Vodafone has unveiled the first batch of 3.5G phones, which theoretically offer speeds up to 25 times faster than existing 3G handsets.