eBay Report on 4G Underlines Importance of Mobile
By: Cicely Wedgeworth
An eBay report about the effects of limited 4G service in the United Kingdom is generating widespread news coverage in the country.
According to the report, the lack of universal 4G service throughout the UK will cost the country’s economy £120 million, or roughly $192.5 million, in lost sales this Christmas season. At the moment, the UK only offers the speedy 4G service in ten cities, including London and Liverpool.
The report also addressed the growing importance of mobile and mobile-influenced shopping, noting that 55 percent of consumers plan to use their smartphones to browse the web this holiday season and 39 percent will use their device to get gift ideas and check prices. About a third of the items in eBay’s Christmas campaign will likely be bought with a mobile phone as well.
“Mobile devices have become virtual stores in our pockets, giving us the ability to shop anytime, anywhere,” said Clare Gilmartin, vice president of eBay Marketplaces Europe. “But for consumers, it’s critical that the experience is quick, seamless and simple.”
However, the top three barriers that prevent consumers from mobile shopping are slow connection speeds, payments timing out and network reliability. All these problems would be virtually eliminated by 4G, the latest and fastest wireless technology network. But rollout of the network has been long delayed in the UK. Full availability is not expected until early 2013.