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UK Mobile Broadband Adoption Being Held Back by Data Caps and Price

Monday, Jun 10th, 2013 (8:52 am) - Score 779

The latest monthly ISPreview.co.uk poll of 757 visitors to our website has revealed that only a quarter (26%) of respondents expect future 5G based Mobile Broadband connections to replace traditional fixed line ISPs, with concerns over limited usage allowances, price and speed being the key obstacles.

At present Ofcom predicts that next gen 5G (5th Generation) mobile services will enter the market, using the 700MHz band (currently used for digital terrestrial TV services), sometime around 2018-2020. Related services are intended to be significantly faster than the latest 4G solutions and the regulator already expects it to become a true “fixed line substitute“. But will it?

How important is Mobile Broadband (3G/4G) connectivity to you?
Very Important – 41.7%
Average Importance – 30.3%
Low / Not Important – 27.8%

Do you agree with Ofcom that, after 2018, future 5G mobile broadband could be a true “fixed line substitute”?
No – 41.7%
Maybe – 32.2%
Yes – 26%

Which key area prevents existing mobile broadband services from replacing fixed lines?
Usage Allowance – 39.8%
Price – 22.7%
Service Speeds – 18.8%
Other – 11.4%
Restrictions (P2P blocks etc.) – 7%

Clearly a lot of people regard Mobile Broadband connectivity as being very important but most still view it as a substitute rather than a replacement to fixed line connections at home. Broadly speaking most existing 3G and 4G services simply struggle to compete with the ultra-cheap and often unlimited allowances offered by fixed line providers, though the gap has been closing.

Future 5G services could potentially bring the two even closer but it’s clear that mobile operators still have a long way to go before they can offer the same flexibility (usage allowance) as fixed line connections, although the prospect for a seismic shift in the future does exist. But this perhaps wrongly assumes that fixed line services won’t adapt to compete.

This months new survey asks whether or not you find the current process of switching ISPs to be confusing and if you support Ofcom’s move to simplify it? Vote Here.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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