Nearly three-quarters (74pc) of Irish consumers may own a smartphone, but mobile data connection is one of their gripes, Accenture’s Mobile Web Watch 2013 online survey suggests.
In all, the Accenture survey was conducted online in 26 countries, across both mature and emerging markets. The survey gleaned the responses of 30,900 participants, including 700 from Ireland.
Accenture said the annual online survey was conducted with a sample representative of internet users across age, gender and incomes.
The survey revealed that in Ireland, consumers have an above-average ownership of technology devices. One-third of the Irish population owns a tablet and 24pc are contemplating buying a tablet.
As well as this, an extra 34pc of Irish consumers are considering buying a smartphone.
Accenture’s Mobile Web Watch 2013 also found that the internet is important to Irish mobile phone users – 36pc of Irish consumers use internet calls on their smartphones – apparently this is higher than the global average of 28pc.
Despite this trend, there is a glitch that is hampering avid mobile internet users on the island. More than nine in 10 (91pc) of smartphone users indicated they would make more internet calls if the speed and quality of their mobile data connection was better.
Meanwhile, 84pc of users said they would use this option more if they could reach more of their contacts this way.
The Accenture survey also found that Ireland is lagging a bit when it comes to mobile payments, however. It seems that just 12pc are currently using this function (compared with 16pc globally), and one-third of Irish users plan to migrate to mobile payments in the next 12 months.
In line with this, 48pc of those surveyed said they would be willing to switch providers to get a better mobile payments service.
And, in relation to goods and services purchased via mobile, tickets for events are the most popular, at 68pc, followed by tickets for transport, at 52pc. One-third of those surveyed use mobile payments for clothes/shoes while one in five buy consumer goods or groceries.
The speed of things to come?
With respect to mobile internet connection, Accenture reported that 82pc of Irish consumers are satisfied or very satisfied with the speed of their connections.
Despite this, 54pc of Irish customers would be willing to accept an additional cost for 4G mobile internet in order to obtain an internet service 10 times faster than their current connection. This percentage would be slightly less than the global average (57pc).
Turning to mobile advertising, 62pc say ad banners are the most frequent form of advertising on their mobiles. Ad banners, however, are also considered the most annoying by 58pc of smartphone users in Ireland. This is followed by text advertising (47pc of users aren’t big fans of this advertising method.)
On the flip side, nearly half (45pc) of users appear to find coupons “informative”, while of 38pc of users are in favour of information on special offers delivered directly to their mobile devices while in-store.
Mary Moloney, head of telecommunications consulting at Accenture Ireland, said Ireland’s changing consumer means that every business is now a digital business.
“Mobility is not only driving convergence, but it is also accelerating consumers’ appetites for a high-quality, seamless experience on their mobile devices.”
To stay in the game, Moloney said providers must deliver the variety of services consumers and businesses want, via fast, reliable and secure networks. If they don’t do this, she said such providers will struggle to keep up with competitors at every turn.
“Convergence and developments in technology present some challenges for mobile providers, but they can compete by assuring quality of service as they address customers’ demands, manage new traffic patterns or reconsider the structure of data plans.”
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