Confusing mobile web pricing a turn off


The Mobile Data Association (MDA) said this week the networks’ pricing of their mobile internet services was preventing swifter adoption by UK consumers.

The MDA said in its latest report into UK mobile usage that there were 16 million mobile internet users in May this year, compared with 13 million during the same period two years ago – an average of 4,500 new users per day.

But it added the 25 per cent rise in usage could have been higher had networks got their pricing right.

MDA chairman Steve Reynolds said: "The MDA is calling for greater price transparency on the costs associated with using the Mobile Internet.

"The findings of this report suggest a real consumer appetite, but confusion and fear over costs may be holding back growth.

"The problem is no one knows how much a megabite is so networks need to simplify tariffs to make them ‘all you can eat’ with unlimited download bundles locked onto the tariffs."

The MDA report also found just under 6.5 billion text messages and 46.5 million picture/video messages are sent every month, representing growth in messaging of 30 per cent on last year.

The MDA expects the number of text messages sent by UK mobile customers to grow by another 30 per cent in total this year, as networks reduce roaming charges and more users text when abroad.

The report covers the period from January to May this year. The next report in October is set to detail seasonal peaks and troughs, including the holiday roaming period, as well as mobile data usage through USB broadband ‘dongles’.

Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, said: "The mobile phone is no longer simply a mobile equivalent of the fixed phone, but a pocketable tool for remote control and connection across several modes of communication.