3G fuels boom for advanced services

3G users in the UK are five times more likely to use advanced data services than their second-generation counterparts

After a series of false dawns, 3G could finally be getting users to adopt services beyond the traditional mainstays of talk and text.

Mobile research firm M:Metrics report that 3G users in the UK are five times more likely to use advanced data services than their second-generation counterparts.

Using IM on the move and downloading games were among the activities that spiked with 3G usage. M:Metrics found that more than 10 percent of 3G users had added a game to their phone, compared to three percent of 2G subscribers.

The capture and transmission of video also rose dramatically among 3G users — nearly 19 percent of 3G users sent a video to a friend compared to seven percent of 2G users — which the research company attributes both to 3G networks being set up to handle heavy bandwidth transmission but also to the better quality video capture functions found in third generation phones.

While the figures might be cheering to operators, a recent report from analyst house Forrester predicted that 3G services will see poor takeup until the end of the decade, due to the high cost of handsets.