71 per cent put off by Everything Everywhere 4G price plans
Following Everything Everywhere announcing its 4G price plans, Thinkbroadband conducted a poll, which has found that 71 per cent said the price premium will put them off upgrading to 4G.
Andrew Ferguson, editor of Thinkbroadband, the UK’s largest independent broadband news and information site commented:
“In response to the much anticipated launch of 4G services from EE and the subsequent Ofcom ran 4G auction that will allow other operators to deploy 4G LTE in the UK, we are canvassing our readers on their reaction to the product announcements from EE.
We have received several hundred votes within hours of the poll starting, and there is clear evidence that the UK public is extremely price sensitive with regards to mobile data spend.
When asking whether the price premium for 4G data will put them off upgrading, over 72% of respondents said yes. The option to wait and see was offered but only 9% indicated they would wait, which suggests that if O2 and Three have similar pricing to EE when they launch in 2013, 4G may not see wide adoption among the general population.
The cheapest 4G tariff provides just 500MB per month, but interestingly when asked in our poll, some 45% of respondents have a tariff that is this size or smaller. Three quarters currently have a usage allowance that is 2GB or smaller. Some of the most vocal resistance appears to be from the 7% who have an allowance of 8GB or more per month (includes unlimited). With no unlimited option on 4G it is these heavy users of mobile data who would benefit most from the extra speed, but will face the significantly increasing bills.
The costs of excess data usage (2GB extra costs £15) may not be the main driver for lack of enthusiasm for 4G contracts, as a massive 87% claim to never exceed their monthly usage allowance. Though there is likely to be the perception that given faster speeds people will use more data (4G video streaming should be a pleasant experience), catch-up TV services are very data hungry. A HD stream eats 2GB every hour, and dropping to standard quality still means you may use 1GB per hour.
The handsets on offer with the 4G contracts all support HD video streaming, giving a big screen experience in the palm of your hand, but with the high prices, who will actually benefit from this?
The roll-out of 4G services is part of the UK’s Digital Infrastructure plan, with the aim being that 98% of the population should have access to 4G service. At current pricing though it is very clear that most of the population would not be able to afford the service, and the usage allowances do not approach what fixed line broadband allows, where even in rural areas a 10GB usage allowance with voice line rental can be found for £27 per month.”
What are your thoughts? is 4G that important to justify EE’s pricing? Leave a comment below