Less than a quarter of British smartphone owners plan to upgrade to 4G mobile service, a new Ofcom study has found.
Despite 4G being widely lauded as the next big breakthrough on the UK mobile scene, the latest study has found that although the majority of British smartphone owners are aware of 4G, just 22 per cent of people plan on updating to a new 4G plan.
According to Ofcom’s findings, despite a number of leading UK networks confirming they will roll out their 4G service before the year’s end, two thirds of smartphone owners have no plans on making the jump to a 4G contract during the next 12 months. Analysts have suggested that the level of confusing jargon surrounding 4G is putting people off.
"4G is new and doesn't mean much to consumers," Jessica Ekholm, Research Director and of technology analyst firm Gartner told the BBC. "Any technology is intangible - people ask: 'What does it mean to me?'"
She added: "At the moment it's acronym soup. It needs to go viral. It needs people's friends and family to say '4G is fantastic'."
While EE is currently the only 4G network provider operating in the UK, earlier this week O2 confirmed that its own 4G network would begin rolling out later this month.
"Awareness and adoption of 4G is growing at a significant rate already and this can only accelerate as other operators finally begin marketing the service too," an EE spokesperson said.
With the O2 4G network to hit London, Leeds and Bradford on August 29 – with 10 further cities to follow this year – Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 stated: “It’s great that I am able to announce O2 4G the day after the spectrum has been cleared for use.”
He added: “Digital connectivity will be made ubiquitous by 4G and become the oxygen of modern life. It is our intention to use 4G to inspire the nation through the possibilities of technology, encouraging people to live more, do more and be more.”
Ben Dowd, O2’s Business Director went on to state: “I believe that 4G is not only going to transform that way business work, but also how services are delivered to customers.
“Start-ups and small businesses should also be considering the benefits 4G offers in terms of agility and being able to engage with their customers in new ways.”