As many as 95% of mobile users would use more data services if the set-up was easier, a survey commissioned by device management firm Mformation reveals.
The general difficulty in setting up services is stifling the wider take-up of mobile e-mail, web browsing, instant messaging and picture messaging.
The survey questioned 2,000 consumers in the UK and the same number in the US.
It revealed that complex set-up issues are also preventing 45% of people from upgrading to new, more sophisticated mobile phones, with 61% of these mobile users saying phone set-up is as frustrating as changing a bank account.
Matthew Bancroft, vice-president at Mformation, said, "Operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake and unlock the true power of advanced mobile technology. The message from consumers is that phone set-up is simply too complex and needs to be addressed."