eBay lobbies UK government for faster mobile broadband

Online auction site eBay entered the growing debate over faster mobile broadband speeds, and has sent its "Mobile Manifesto" to the UK government calling for the deployment of LTE to happen without further delay.

The online mobile commerce company said that its proposal, which lists seven critical areas that will help grow the mobile industry and boost the UK's wider economic recovery, follows a survey commissioned by eBay of 2,000 UK consumers.

This study, undertaken by the retail research firm Verdict, found that 45 per cent of those questioned were discontent with the speed they can download data on their smartphones. The study also said that over a third of consumers already used their smartphones for making purchases whilst travelling--a number which could be boosted to benefit retailers with improved mobile data speeds and better mobile coverage.

In the Mobile Manifesto, the giant online auction firm called for UK telecoms regulator Ofcom to prioritise improvements to mobile Internet coverage on major transport routes such as railways and roads. Miriam Lahage, eBay's vice president of global fashion told New Media Age: "As smartphone and tablet ownership increases there will be even greater potential rewards for companies investing in mobile, and this is particularly true for retailers.

"At eBay in the UK we now see around 10 per cent of sales by value transacted on mobile devices, but we need the right infrastructure in the UK to match this demand," she said. The UK's LTE spectrum auction has experienced multiple delays as mobile operators argue over the rules, and is now scheduled to take place at the end of next year.

For more:
- see this New Media Age article
- see this Internet Retailing article

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