'Bill Shock' remains biggest barrier to mobile internet uptake

A survey of over 2,000 UK consumers found that 75 per cent did not understand the cost of mobile internet browsing and feared that it would result in ‘bill shock' at the end of the month or quickly devour their pre-pay credit.

The study, undertaken by Essential Research, claimed that, despite hype surrounding the success of the iPhone and other top of the range smartphones, the mass market is far from feeling comfortable with the mobile experience on a small screen.

Alex Charlton, partner at Essential Research, said there was a dangerous gap between the perception and reality of mobile internet use. "What struck us most was how few people were engaging in the mobile internet outside the London media bubble. The barriers the average person faces are manifold and the benefits far from clear," he said

Among those who have tried mobile internet services, more than half (57 per cent) claim to have been deterred by handset and software problems, while a quarter said they struggled with understanding how to access the web on their phone and then how to navigate pages.

Interestingly, among those who infrequently use their mobile phone's web browsing facility, more than half cited poor speed for shunning their handheld device and a quarter mentioned their disappointment at not being able to browse sites they enjoyed on a PC as easily on a mobile.

"There is an enormous gulf between the perceptions we hold about mobiles being a big part of our Internet lives and the reality," said Charlton. "In fact, only a small percentage of us are truly internet mobile users and the industry has a big job to do to move mobile internet into our everyday lives."

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