Mobile data allowance grows in importance among smartphone owners11/08/2010 15:28 by Ryan Garner
Recent research conducted by GfK NOP shows that, among smartphone owners, mobile data allowance is more important than the network operator and the handset type.
From previous posts on TechTalk we’ve shown how the use of mobile apps shows no sign of abating and that the tight integration of services on the iPhone drives Apple’s smartphone success. This thirst for apps and services is the reason why smartphone owners are placing greater importance on their mobile data allowance. Smartphone owners now rely on the services their phone provides and taking these away is not an option.
With many UK operators having recently capped their data allowances, smartphone owners will think carefully about their next mobile tariff. GfK NOP estimates that 24 per cent of contract customers using smartphones would actually switch operators if they could get a better mobile data allowance elsewhere.
The decision to cap mobile data usage is a sensible one as the major UK network operators have millions of customers who depend on a reliable mobile network. However, in doing so, network operators need to consider the mindset of the consumer. The average mobile phone user including many smartphone users simply don’t know how much data they use. Those who require a data allowance will always prefer an ‘unlimited’ package for peace of mind. Now that ‘unlimited’ data is coming to an end, consumers will look for the safest option; in other words the operator offering the most generous package.
It is easy to see why smartphone owners react this way when you look at the level of importance they place on using services on their mobile phone. Table 1 (below), shows the level of importance consumers place on mobile services in their day-to-day routine:
Table 1: Importance of mobile service usage
There is clearly a stark contrast between the UK average mobile consumer and smartphone users. Given this huge difference in attitudes it is little wonder the extra emphasis smartphone users are placing on mobile data tariffs. The biggest challenge for network operators over the next few years is how they cope with the increasing demand for smartphones and the increase in data usage this will inevitably bring.
This research was conducted in association with Reuters who have published a thorough market analysis here
If you have any questions or comments regarding the research please click here to email us or leave your opinion in the comments section below
- Research was conducted by GfK NOP in association with Reuters between 16 – 19 July 2010
- 978 interviews were conducted online among UK adults aged 16 and over. The sample is representative of UK adults with internet access.
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