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A third of UK consumers ‘can’t see the point’ of 4G

One in three people in the UK can’t see the point of next-generation 4G networks and believe 3G is more than adequate for their needs, according to a survey.

Research by YouGov SixthSense showed that the UK public is unsure about the benefits of 4G mobile broadband services.

More than half (58 per cent) of respondents said they were looking to surf the internet at speeds nearer to those at home. This is despite EE cranking up the top speeds on its 4G network, promising average speeds that are above what most people actually get in the home at the moment. 

‘Triple figure download speed on my network? Nah, you’re alright mate.’

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to 4G in the UKOver one third (35 per cent) wanted their maps applications to load more quickly. Only 80 percent were aware of 4G, only 21 percent were confident about the benefits it would bring them. 

Almost half (48 per cent) say they have a vague understanding and one in three (31 per cent) have no idea. 

The findings showed that operators face a great challenge in making customers interested in 4G. Just under a quarter (23 per cent) are ‘excited’ by the prospect of using it and more than one in three (35 per cent) say none of 4G’s features interests them. 

YouGov SixthSense’s research also indicated consumers are wary about the cost of upgrading their contracts. More than half (55 per cent) of consumers believe 4G will be too expensive for them and two thirds (66 per cent) do not want to spend money on buying any new devices for it. 

Consumers also expressed concerns about the extra data costs involved. One in three (31 per cent) of people considering changing to a 4G phone say they are concerned about the increased cost of data. YouGov SixthSense’s report finds that those currently on 4G pay an average of £14.70 a month extra. 

Russell Feldman, Technology & Telecoms Director at YouGov, said: “That a lot of consumers can’t see the point of 4G presents a real challenge to operators as more of them roll out 4G to their customers.” 

“The low levels of understanding about what 4G offers indicates that networks need to be savvy when selling it to consumers – showing not just that it exists but also what it does. Take-up is likely to be a slow burn as consumers hold off making decisions until they see it in action.” 



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