The bad news is that the average consumer is not yet willing to spend on mobile broadband connectivity unless there is some value-added enticement attached, Parks Associates found in its new report “Mobile Broadband Wireless: Path Toward 4G. The good news is that content providers, such as Samsung, LG, AT&T and Verizon, are busy rolling out early versions of their mobile TV offerings, which are expected to eventually introduce a new breed of handheld and viewing devices to the retail market.
The study found that U.S. consumers are willing to pay only a six percent premium over the cost of a fixed connection for mobile broadband access. Consumers in countries with advanced phone-centric mobile Internet services, such as South Korea, Japan, and Italy, are even less interested in paying a premium.
“The low price sensitivity toward mobile broadband indicates an early market consisting mainly of road warriors and enterprise users,” said Michael Cai, director of broadband & gaming at Parks. “To appeal to mass-market consumers, mobile broadband service providers need to build the price of access into value-added services such as mobile entertainment and introduce new platforms such as consumer electronics embedded with mobile broadband connectivity.”