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Ovum Blames High Mobile Data Costs For Hindering Market

Posted: 04th Jan, 2008 By: MarkJ
O2 claims that 60% of its UK iPhone customers are transferring over 25MB (MegaBytes) of data per month, which compares with less than 2% of the mobile operator’s ordinary contract customers.

However, market research firm Ovum points out that the accessibility of mobile data/Internet services is still restricted by high costs:

"It's long been our view that there is indeed demand for Internet services on mobile phones. Realisation of that demand has been held back by many factors. But we believe that, above all others, two obstacles have combined to stop the show so far. The first is the high and unpredictable cost of using mobile data networks.

The second is the difficulty of using Internet services via the phone's User Interface (UI). The iPhone's UI is clearly a breakthrough in ease of use, and the figures cited by O2 show that by removing the frustration factor, as well as price anxiety, service providers can unleash some of the pent-up demand for the Internet on mobile phones.

Unfortunately the iPhone itself is very expensive, adding to the overall problem of cost. Despite this there have been some major improvements during 2007, with mobile operators like '3' brining the cost of Mobile Broadband (3G) services into a more consumer friendly zone.

Hopefully natural market forces and competition will slowly force prices down further, while improved handsets will push enjoyable mobile Internet access further into the consumers lap.
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