4G Has Launched, But eBay Says It’s Not EnoughDale Wright
A new survey from eBay suggests that we’ll be using our phones more this Christmas than we ever have before.
Of the people surveyed by eBay, 53 per cent said they’d use their phone to access the internet over the festive season. 39 per cent said they’d use their phone to shop and compare pricing.
The auction site expects that around one-third of eBay items purchased over Christmas to be bought on a mobile phone. It’s previously accredited a big jump in revenue – 23 per cent year-on-year – to the boom in mobile shopping.
However, eBay also said the number of people shopping online would be significantly higher if 4G data access was more widespread. That’s because 4G is much faster than 3G and offers much better coverage, so there’s less chance of connection problems.
4G launched in a limited capacity yesterday, but EE is still being criticised for its pricing structure. A basic contract with 500MB allowance costs £36 per month. On the BBC website, Rory Cellan-Jones reported on 4G speed tests in London, Manchester, Salford and Stockport. The data access was extremely varied, with London Euston station providing no 4G signal at all.
Other networks are due to launch 4G services towards the end of next year; Vodafone will be concentrating on getting 4G internet access working indoors, which will please eBay.
But 4G isn’t the only barrier to online shopping. It seems that some of us are scared off by delivery costs. A second survey published by YouGov suggests that a quarter of people with smartphones check prices online, but when it comes to making a purchase, we’d rather go to a store. When tablet users were asked the same question, that figure rose to one-third. The survey covered 2,000 Brits, many of whom said they would like the chance to reserve items online and collect them on the high-street.