Customers are willing to pay extra for a better mobile broadband experience, and smartphone users are especially keen to pony up additional cash for improved services, according to research from TNS.
A survey of respondents in the United Kingdom and United States revealed that 36 percent of U.S. smartphone users and more than 22 percent in the UK claim that they are willing to pay an additional $10 or more per month for superior mobile broadband services. "As little as $7-8 per mobile broadband subscriber would constitute nearly $20 billion in annual revenue," said TNS, which under took the study on behalf of Wi-Fi networking gear specialist BelAir Networks, which this week agreed to be acquired by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).
"There is a particular challenge in metro areas where the high density of people and buildings makes ensuring a great mobile broadband experience very complex, but subscribers' willingness to pay more shows that an untapped market opportunity exists for fixed and mobile service providers and affiliated commerce partners," said Ronny Haraldsvik, chief marketing officer at BelAir.
The study also found that while 56 percent of respondents find the quality and speed of their mobile Internet connection in metro areas is adequate, that number drops to 43 percent for smartphone users. Further, more than 70 percent of smartphone users blame network connections or coverage for their reluctance to use mobile commerce or video applications.
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