Brussels, 24 Mar 2004
A survey by Harris Interactive has found that 49 per cent of mobile phone users in six of the EU's Member States are not interested in 3G, contradicting previous claims that Europe and Asia would grab the majority of the 3G wireless market.
The results, published in the Wall Street Journal, show that disinterest was highest in the UK (60 per cent), where a mobile operator has been running third generation (3G) services for several months.
3G will enable high speed wireless data connections to mobile devices, allowing users to surf the Internet, download files, play games, make video calls and send video and audio clips to others.
In 2001, the GSM Association claimed that Europe and Asia would between them take 85 per cent of the 3G market. But despite predictions of billion euro revenues for 3G operators, 44 per cent of respondents in the Harris Interactive survey said they would not use their mobile phones for much more than ordinary calls.
This indifference could be explained by a lack of understanding of 3G. Some 52 per cent of those questioned said that industry has failed to explain the facts with regard to 3G, or the technology's potential. The survey revealed huge differences in opinion across Europe in this respect, however, with 71 per cent of Spaniards claiming ignorance, but only 28 per cent of Belgians feeling the same.
The survey was conducted online in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK and received 10,581 responses, 93 per cent of which were from mobile users.