Consumers more aware of 4G but still worried about the cost

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Research from uSwitch.com finds that almost three quarters are now aware of what 4G is, but 38 per cent think it is too expensive for them

More consumers are adopting 4G but the number of people worried about the cost of the service is rising.

This is according to new research from independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com, which was conducted online amongst 1,415 smartphone users last month.

When the site conducted research among 2,000 people last September, less than half (47 per cent) knew what 4G was prior to its launch by EE in October, but that has now risen to 72 per cent.

However, while awareness of the technology is increasing, more people are worried about the financial impact it will have on them.

In the latest research, 38 per cent said they think 4G would be too expensive for them, up from 31 per cent in October. More than two thirds said they were ‘very or quite concerned’ as to how 4G might affect their data bills, up from 62 per cent in the previous research.

More than half said they would like 4G, as opposed to less than half in October. When asked is they would be willing to switch to 4GEE as soon as possible, 16.3 per cent siad they would as opposed to 14 per cent in October.

Just under half said they would consider getting a 4G handset, up from 3.1 per cent, while those questioned said the average amount they would be willing to pay for 4G was £4.99, up from £3.35. However, just 15.8 per cent said they believed that 4G speeds will live up to the hype when its finally rolled out, down from 32 per cent in October.

uSwitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku said: “Six months on from the launch of 4G, EE’s honeymoon is almost over. Its head start could disappear once competitors are out of the starting blocks. Fortunately for EE, it has continued to iterate and improve its offering. In fact, even though other networks will soon be entering the race, more customers now seem to be prepared to switch to EE to get superfast mobile internet.

“But as the competition heats up, EE will certainly have to raise its game. It will be interesting to see how other providers attempt to differentiate, demonstrate value and quell consumer fears about burning through their data allowances. Or will 4G spell the death of the unlimited data plans? Although the tariffs on offer from EE have undergone a number of nips and tucks in pricing and provision of data, people today are even more worried about the bills they could rack up while surfing on 4G.

“Pricing is highly likely to become the new battleground for 4G, especially in light of Three’s ‘no premium for superfast’ pledge. We hope that more networks offering 4G will lead to real competition on numerous fronts including cost, data, handsets and coverage – so that consumers can enjoy the next generation of mobile internet without the sky-high price tag they fear.”

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