Brits 'not interested' in 3G

A recent survey shows that two-thirds of Britons aren't interested in what 3G has to offer - but the other third are keen to pay for extra services

While there is generally user indifference towards 3G mobile services across Europe, Britons are the most uninterested in services based on the upcoming technology.

A survey of 7,000 consumers across 10 European countries by Taylor Nelson Sofres has found 66 percent of Britons 'not interested' in 3G compared to an average of 58 percent for the rest of the continent.

The UK is one of the most mature mobile markets in the world but the latest research appears to show many users are happy with vanilla 2G handsets, providing voice services and text messaging. Users in the UK send more SMS text messages per month than others across Europe -- 31 versus 26 per month on average.

In a separate statement out on Wednesday, Strand Consult revealed Europeans are basing their mobile phone purchases on brand -- they normally want a Nokia -- and price. This is also bad news for network operators and handset vendors as consumers aren't even getting to use services enabled by 2.5G technologies such as GPRS always-on data access.

The Taylor Nelson Sofres figures show that the most positive potential 3G users are to be found in Poland and Turkey, countries which arguably are looking to make a leap to more advanced networks, bypassing some 2.5G offerings.

Despite two-thirds of Britons being negative about 3G, it is clear the other 33 percent are at the forefront of adoption. The research found UK users are prepared to pay more for applications such as video messaging, email and MMS -- around £6.60 per month, in the case of MMS -- than their European counterparts.

Commenting on what steps the industry needs to be taking, Taylor Nelson Sofres director Richard Noden said: "While Britain is a country which typically responds well to new technologies, it is important for operators and retailers to educate consumers about the capabilities of 3G and the benefits it can bring them in order to generate demand."

If it moves, we cover it. See ZDNet UK's Mobile Technology News Section for the latest news, reviews and price checks on mobile phones, PDAs, notebook computers and anything else you can take away.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom.