Forrester Research predicts that 3G will not become the predominant technology for mobile phones here until 2010 with GPRS in pole position for the rest of this decade.
Forrester’s Niek van Veen says “GPRS will start losing ground to 3G after 2007, and by the end of 2010 just 38% of mobile users will have a GPRS phone as their primary mobile device – compared with more than 70% today”.
He sees 3G penetration finally getting into double digits by the end of 2006 “as 3G phones become cheaper, less bulky and superior in performance”.
3G’s growth won’t however do much for access to the mobile internet, however. “Today, 21% of European mobile subscribers use mobile Internet services – including MMS – at least once per month,” says Van Veen. “Once 3G coverage improves and networks become more reliable, usage will grow.
But this won’t be at the same pace as 3G handset take-up: Low consumer interest in paying for mobile Internet services and an inferior user experience compared with fixed Internet or interactive TV alternatives will have a dampening effect on uptake.
“As a result, no more than half of all mobile subscribers will regularly use mobile Internet services at the end of 2010.”