SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Mobile broadband increasing, so is dissatisfaction

Posted by Admin on November 3, 2008

A recent survey by O2 (reported on here by the analyst house ARCchart) says that although take up of mobile broadband is increasing in the UK, so are the number of complaints. The main complaints are centred around the confusing pricing structure and the quality of the coverage.

Neither of those complaints are particularly surprising and I would agree with both of them. If something is advertised as ‘Unlimited’ you don’t expect that there is a limit – but that is the case with mobile broadband packages and the bills and extra charges are not just confusing, they’re bloody really annoying.

And as for coverage, I’m working today on a Vodafone dongle and I’m struggling. Pages are loading … just … very … slowly. I’m having to alter the way I work to get around the issues of lack of bandwidth. That’s not what I was promised as part of the mobile broadband, work anywhere revolution.

The marketing director at 02, Peter Rampling, summed it up:

“Across the industry there are too many customers whose mobile broadband expectations have been set too high and have then been disappointed, which is a terrible shame given there are loads of people who are having a great time with mobile broadband.”

What he doesn’t say is what O2 is going to do about it.

Nobody is denying that mobile broadband is a good thing (well, I’m not at least). However the operators need to make sure that they’re not trying to market a solution, without finding a problem first.

For people who are genuine ‘mobile workers’ – and I would put myself in that category now – mobile broadband is great and the ability to be flexible is worth the occassional frustrations with the pricing and download speeds (although if the downloads speeds are too slow – then that doesn’t make me flexible and I get annoyed).

However, as operators continue to try and milk the golden goose (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor) and push mobile broadband down to the consumer, then they have to get it right. The operators must explain what it is and how it works and not try to pretend that it can do everything that fixed broadband can do. Otherwise, as is currently happening, dissatisfaction grows. Operators are in danger of creating a situation where they upset consumers so much that they all turn away from mobile broadband.


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