More than one in five UK smart phone users are dead against 4G, according to new research from industry regulator Ofcom. In a survey of British phone fans, Ofcom found 22 per cent strongly disagreed with the idea of ever paying for 4G -- despite already owning an Internet-connected blower.
Those might just be refuseniks who never use their smart phone for downloading or streaming on the go. Perhaps of more concern to the phone networks is that nearly two thirds of people feel they're unlikely to upgrade to 4G in the next year.
Here's a charming chart of the reasons people gave for shunning the future:
It's hardly suprising Joseph and Josephine Public are wary right now, with only EE offering 4G speeds -- and then only with pretty swingeing data limits. But more networks are going 4G soon, with O2 this week committing to flicking the switch on its own next-gen network on 29 August.
O2 4G will be available in London, Leeds and Bradford (no, I don't know why either) initially, extending to other major cities aoround the UK later this year. Its deals will start at £26, but it hasn't confirmed any other details, so we don't know if they'll be any better value than EE's pricey efforts.
Vodafone and Three are expected to launch 4G services when the next iPhone pitches up. They've bought spectrum and have been readying the infrastructure, but want to piggyback Apple's next mobile marketing extravaganza -- probably some time in September.
When all the major networks (EE is the umbrella name for Orange and T-Mobile, remember) have super-fast mobile broadband blasting out across the country -- and you can't move without seeing an ad for 4G -- expect people to get more interested. Especially if the competition makes prices fall.
I'd expect a sizeable number of people would be interested in a £40 per month contract that dished up unlimited data at up to 150Mbps, which is what EE offers (as a theoretical maximum). It's the data limit that's putting them off, with many phone addicts much more bothered about using the Internet constantly than the speed at which it's delivered.
That's my feeling from reading your excellent comments here on the site and on our rapid Facebook page -- but feel free to update your thoughts now.