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4G Is Changing Mobile Telecommunications

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December 08, 2010

4G Is Changing Mobile Telecommunications

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The mobile telecommunications space is changing and mobile operators have to be ready to embrace current challenges if they hope to survive and drive a profit. Consumers are being introduced to 4G networks, but do they understand the benefits of making a move? Will consumers be willing to pay for new devices and accept price increases for faster service?

As captured in this recent RCR Wireless (News - Alert) piece, one thing for certain in the mobile telecommunications space is the reality that mobile networks are facing data congestion as high levels of traffic are affecting the overall customer experience – in some cases quite significantly. Consumers are still demanding a quality experience and an inability to deliver can cost the carrier a subscriber.

A survey was conducted at 4G World that sought to capture consumer perceptions on a number of 4G issues, including whether or not they were concerned with the price of data with unlimited plans continuing to disappear; the number of customers actively planning to get a 4G device; and how sensitive consumers were to the affect of network capacity on their overall experience.

Responses gathered in this survey identified key telecommunications trends that show there is a strong consumer demand for 4G and as many as 62 percent are planning to acquire a 4G device within the next 12 months. 

In addition, these respondents are also willing to pay more for a 4G data plan, indicating they understand the associated value of this network. The one obvious concern, however, was overage charges that can occur with usage caps on data plans. This response suggests that mobile telecommunications providers need to be proactive in minimizing bill shock to ensure a positive customer experience. 

The survey helped to identify that in the mobile telecommunications space, consumers are open to usage based pricing models. A full 82 percent of respondents indicated as such and service providers are already starting to move in this direction. To drive these offers so that they enhance the customer experience, telecommunications players will have to tightly couple policy management with charging solutions and tie this with the ability to personalize a user plan based on usage habits.

In conducting the survey, it was also determined that 88 percent of respondents recognize that the capacity of the network will affect their mobile data experience. They understand that poor service is the result of capacity issues. As telecommunications providers are driving subscriber numbers and new devices are added to the network every day, this highlights a pain point that must be addressed for the customer base.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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