eBay call for better mobile broadband coverage

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Ofcom is currently consulting on how best to sell licences for new superfast 4G mobile broadband network in the UK. In a submission to the regulator eBay has submitted data from Verdict Research showing much of the UK is still poorly served by mobile broadband. They are calling on policy-makers to do more to address consumer frustrations when rules for the 4G mobile networks are agreed later this year.

Despite the future potential of m-commerce the market is currently being held back by unreliable mobile broadband. UK retailers are missing out on at least £1.3bn as a result of consumer frustrations with patchy coverage, unreliable connections and slow connection speeds driving shoppers away.

Click to see full research data
The research shows that 16% of the UK is an “m-commerce not-spot”, where mobile spending is at least 20% below the national average. Sparsely populated areas, such as the Scottish highlands and islands, rural Wales and rural counties of England are the worst affected. But the evidence also shows that mobile shopping is underperforming in some heavily populated areas like central London. It appears that even in the captial and other major cities broadband reliability and coverage isn’t guaranteed.

Mobile shopping could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13bn by 2021 according to eBay. The main things holding back m-commerce is patchy coverage and, for 80% of users, the still relatively high cost of some mobile data plans.

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay UK said “Mobile shopping represents a massive opportunity not just for retailers, but for the economy as a whole”. Rory Stewart MP, a leading campaigner for mobile broadband, confirmed the importance of m-commerce to small businesses saying we must take this opportunity to expand mobile broadband coverage as far as possible.

Hopefully Ofcom will set rules which will ensure 4G mobile broadband coverage across the entire country when it is rolled out in 2014. In the mean time how good is the current 3G mobile data coverage where you live? Do you use mobile broadband or is the service too patchy or slow in your location?

34 Responses

  1. This past week the TLC network premiered a new series called Extreme Couponing. It has drawn a great deal of controversy across the internet. one smart source for coupon is “Printapons” check it out

  2. I am not quite sure why Ebay think that Mobile payments and shopping will boost the economy?

    Surely the same amount of money is being spent, just in a different way?

  3. Remember it is our eBay fees that cover the cost to eBay of preparing and submitting this research or indeed any eBay “research”.

    Many would prefer eBay to cut overhead by closing the research department, stop poking its nose in to other peoples business (ie that of mobile phone operators), and reduce fees. And at the same time many (the majority?) would prefer eBay to stop messing with the eBay site, close the department responsible for messing with the site, and reduce fees still further!

    eBay would then be far more attractive to existing buyers and sellers and they would increase business and revenue this way.

    Don’t they say that retaining and keeping existing customers happy comes at a far lower cost than trying to get new customers?

  4. I get people around where I live talking on their mobiles in their gardens because the coverage is bad. Its a fault with mobile technology. High speed landline internet broadband is more of an answer. Most people with a smart phone just want to pose.

  5. I think ebay do a grand job
    I wish I were a penny behind them or even a few million

  6. I don’t use a mobile. I pay my bills, taxes, run a business successfully, feed the kids + dog + wife etc etc etc not a great fan of this new fangled world.

  7. Ebay fees are a bargain, weight them up with google adwords and the revenue it brings compared to ebay – ebay wins – if we spent our fees which are around 3k a month which then we get on avg 40k sales – wud 3k a month with google gives you that roi?

  8. Is mobile technology really that secure and safe? If they can hack into Sony, they must learn their apprenticeship somewhere on an easier target. Baclaycard are introducing a mobile phone form of credit-debit payment. It only takes a security breach and public confidence has gone.

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