The operators argued until they were blue in the face, Ofcom kept us waiting and waiting, and EE put all of its investment squarely behind the technology – but it seems the person on the street couldn’t give two hoots about 4G.
A report released by YouGov today shows 33% of consumers “can’t see the point” of 4G, whilst 31% have no idea of the benefits it offers, despite the mobile providers making such a fuss about the speedier mobile networks.
It reminds me of the obsession with superfast broadband. Whilst governments and ISPs all rant and rave about speeds of up to 300Mbps, take up is still incredibly low – just two for every 100 broadband connections, according to Ofcom.
Let’s face it, the geekier amongst us may long for these dreamy speeds but the average consumer just wants capacity to stream iPlayer without any buffering.
The only way we can measure adoption of 4G is through EE as the only operator in the UK offering the technology, but it has always been a bit shifty about revealing adoption figures too, signalling a lack of appetite for the speeds.
At least with 4G the wait for roll-out has been relatively small compared to fibre. All the operators should have their services live by the end of the year, meaning competition will be improved and hopefully the premium prices will come down, perhaps attracting some more people on-board.
But what this report shows is the technology industry is failing to get the message out about what 4G brings to the user and their device. Maybe we should all stop arguing with each other and start showing the world what faster networks can do.