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Mobile data too complex, too flakey - poll

Price and problem overload

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Punters are giving flaky mobile data services the cold shoulder, a survey has revealed. 64 per cent of those surveyed gave up after one or two attempts with the services, while only two per cent said they'd seek help from the carrier. Asked what would encourage them to use more mobile data, 53 per cent said lower pricing, 43 per cent cited greater ease of use, and 32 per cent better help and advice.

The survey was conducted by NOP and commissioned by mobile infrastructure software supplier Olista, and polled 1,000 adults in September.

An earlier Olista-commissioned poll found that 77 per cent of phone users have never tried any data service, and of those who had, only 12 per cent were happy with the mobile data experience.

That's grim reading for the carriers, who need to invest more in ease of use and reliability, Olista CEO Oren Glanz told us. Olista sells network diagnostic tools to the carriers.

"We've mapped hundreds of thousands of different problems with mobile data services," he said. "Some have different problems the second time they attempt to use a service." Amongst the most common problems were content not being accessible on specific handsets, and the failure of different service elements to interoperate.

Glanz also said carriers should use more predictable pricing models.

"When prices have been reduced it's not apparent that usage has increased. There's price confusion - a lot of the time you're not sure how you'll be charged. It's not like making a phone call."

Mobile data services are often an impulse decision and need to work first time, he said. ®

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