Ofcom report reveals UK phone users lack of 4G interest

Most people in the UK have no plans to upgrade to 4G, according to a new report by mobile regulator Ofcom.

Its research revealed that 70 per cent of respondents have no plans to upgrade to 4G when their current mobile phone contract expires. Furthermore, 22 per cent said they would never sign up to 4G, despite owning a smartphone.

There does appear to be a modicum of interest in the next generation mobile network - with 79 per cent of smartphone users saying they were aware of 4G services -but the cost involved with upgrading is putting many people off.

YouGov's SixthSense survey, carried out on behalf the telecoms watchdog, asked respondents who said they were unlikely to switch to 4G why this was the case.

Forty-six per cent cited data charges, while 37 per cent said handset cost was the main reason. Just 29 per cent named lack of interest in faster speeds as a factor.

The survey found that eight per cent of respondents were already subscribers to EE's 4G service, and a further 12 per cent said they were likely to buy 4G services within the next twelve months.

But, 38 per cent said they were aware of what 4G is but were unlikely to purchase it by next April. Only 30 per cent of smartphone users aim to upgrade to 4G at the end of their current contracts, according to Ofcom.

As reported by IT Pro last month, Ofcom has given the go ahead to allow mobile operators to reuse their 2G and 3G spectrum to deliver 4G services. It had already granted EE permission to reuse its 1800 MHz band last summer.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.