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UMTS Forum Report 34, February 2004

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UMTS Forum Report 34, February 2004

This Study set out to inform suppliers about user behaviours so that they can be better prepared for the expectations of their 3G customers. In advance of the mass-market availability of 3G products and services, the study was not able explore in depth the actual user adoption of 3G as a technology, but instead it looked at the whole repertoire of mobile mediated communications that will provide the context for 3G.

It consulted over eighty people from Western Europe and, in addition to confirming others' research, it has also identified some new ways of doing things that will influence the take up of 3G/UMTS products and services. In particular it found that new products and services are expected and tried out willingly by some consumers as part of their annual upgrade, for example camera phones. These "user explorers" are of any age and may be business or personal users. Willingness to adopt new ideas is, however, tempered by the reluctance to discard old ways of doing things,(often as backup), especially in businesses where a variety of ICT is in used simultaneously or piecemeal.

The omnipresence, globally, of mobile communications has enabled its users to find new ways of using their repertoire of mobile mediated devices. They are less troubled by how it works or whether they can understand how to use it. Instead they are developing strategies for making the most of bundled packages and negotiating shared access of all types of ICT within their household and business groups. This willingness to embrace the new whilst finding ways of keeping hold of past practices is fundamental to the adoption of 3G which is likely to seen as an adjunct rather than a replacement of existing products until its capabilities can be explored and incorporated into everyday life.