Consumers want Mobile Internet, but few know about 4G. But, is awareness really a problem for service providers?
While 60 percent of users surveyed by Yankee Group say they are interested in mobile Internet access, just 3 percent say they are anxiously awaiting 4G and 43 percent say they have heard the term “4G” but don’t understand what it means.
Yankee believes that the awareness and understanding of the term 4G is just one hurdle service providers must overcome before they can successfully reap the promise of 4G and the mobile Internet.
These are core topics of 4G World and Mobile Internet World, which run through September 18 in Chicago. The report, "Beyond 4G Rhetoric: Capitalizing on the Mobile Internet," spotlights some industry challenges:
- Mobile Internet is spawning new, tougher competition. Service providers are not only challenged to transform their businesses for the mobile Internet, but must also keep up with innovative non-carrier competitors, as well as new entrants in emerging markets.
- High smartphone usage will continue to stress networks. Yankee Group surveys show 60 percent of users are likely or highly likely to purchase a smartphone as their next mobile device. Data traffic is expected to increase by more than 29 times between 2009 and 2015, with most demand coming from smartphones. In fact, the proportion of data traffic coming from smartphones will increase from 18.5 to 56 percent between 2009 and 2015.
- Service providers must overhaul their infrastructure. "In addition to moving to all–IP cores, service providers must adopt holistic strategies to transform their entire network, IT and operational ecosystems," says Phil Marshall, senior research fellow and author of the report. "Service providers must capitalize on the mobile Internet or perish."
Given the experience that service providers have gained from marketing 3G based offerings, these questions remain -- does it matter that consumers don't comprehend the meaning of 4G? Won't service providers market the inherent benefits of their 4G network applications, not the underlying technology?
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