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eBay call for better mobile broadband coverage

By Chris Dawson May 31, 2011 - 4:58 am

Ofcom is currently consulting on how best to sell licences for new superfast 4G mobile broadband network in the UK. In a submission to the regulator eBay has submitted data from Verdict Research showing much of the UK is still poorly served by mobile broadband. They are calling on policy-makers to do more to address consumer frustrations when rules for the 4G mobile networks are agreed later this year.

Despite the future potential of m-commerce the market is currently being held back by unreliable mobile broadband. UK retailers are missing out on at least £1.3bn as a result of consumer frustrations with patchy coverage, unreliable connections and slow connection speeds driving shoppers away.

Click to see full research data
The research shows that 16% of the UK is an “m-commerce not-spot”, where mobile spending is at least 20% below the national average. Sparsely populated areas, such as the Scottish highlands and islands, rural Wales and rural counties of England are the worst affected. But the evidence also shows that mobile shopping is underperforming in some heavily populated areas like central London. It appears that even in the captial and other major cities broadband reliability and coverage isn’t guaranteed.

Mobile shopping could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13bn by 2021 according to eBay. The main things holding back m-commerce is patchy coverage and, for 80% of users, the still relatively high cost of some mobile data plans.

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay UK said “Mobile shopping represents a massive opportunity not just for retailers, but for the economy as a whole”. Rory Stewart MP, a leading campaigner for mobile broadband, confirmed the importance of m-commerce to small businesses saying we must take this opportunity to expand mobile broadband coverage as far as possible.

Hopefully Ofcom will set rules which will ensure 4G mobile broadband coverage across the entire country when it is rolled out in 2014. In the mean time how good is the current 3G mobile data coverage where you live? Do you use mobile broadband or is the service too patchy or slow in your location?

  • carollloyd
    11 years ago

    This past week the TLC network premiered a new series called Extreme Couponing. It has drawn a great deal of controversy across the internet. one smart source for coupon is “Printapons” check it out

    • BigPoppa
      11 years ago

      The greed of it was disgusting! I hate to say it but if I was an American, this would make me ashamed (sorry Americans on here).

      They should give all that excess food to charities, churches, kids homes etc…but no they store it in their garages, disgusting.

  • Mark T
    11 years ago

    I am not quite sure why Ebay think that Mobile payments and shopping will boost the economy?

    Surely the same amount of money is being spent, just in a different way?

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      Surely its the much same arguement that says that every small town has to have not just One Supermarket but five or six.

    • Old Hand
      11 years ago

      People will need to borrow more from the banks to spend, pay more to the phone companies for data plans, spend more on chemotherapy when they get cancer from the phones. That’s called economic growth and it’s good for you.

  • Gary
    11 years ago

    Remember it is our eBay fees that cover the cost to eBay of preparing and submitting this research or indeed any eBay “research”.

    Many would prefer eBay to cut overhead by closing the research department, stop poking its nose in to other peoples business (ie that of mobile phone operators), and reduce fees. And at the same time many (the majority?) would prefer eBay to stop messing with the eBay site, close the department responsible for messing with the site, and reduce fees still further!

    eBay would then be far more attractive to existing buyers and sellers and they would increase business and revenue this way.

    Don’t they say that retaining and keeping existing customers happy comes at a far lower cost than trying to get new customers?

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      I have been critical of ebay in the past. But I now find myself trying, in part, to defend them. Closing the Research Department would be crazy. Bringing it under a bit of control might be more sensible but closing it would be just plain daft. Over the next few years and indeed decades we can all expect that there will be significant developments with every aspect of e-commerce. ebay must be allowed to develop to be at the very forefront of those developments. In other words it should be a leader not a follower in those developments. That requires ebay to have a working and effective Research Department. But the research that it is involved with has to be relavent. Some such as Gary may argue that too much is not relavent, and he might be correct. In which case there could be an arguement for ebay Management to have a look at exactly what the Research Department is doing and its relavence to ebay in the short and long terms. However only ebay will know just where it sees itself in 5, 10 or 20 years. It has to be able to develop the policies and strategies for the future. Otherwise we could see ebay stagnate and possibly other sites come into existance that overtake and leave ebay in their wake. I know I have often argued for the “Perfect Site” and that could in fact be ebay if it was to re-organise itself to answer some of the other points in Gary’s Posting but at least ebay should be given the chance. Obviously in the future if the “Perfect Site” was to turn up and if ebay has continued to fail to answer all the problems then we will be justified in moving our activities. But ebay has to be given a chance and that means a Research Department.

  • 11 years ago

    I get people around where I live talking on their mobiles in their gardens because the coverage is bad. Its a fault with mobile technology. High speed landline internet broadband is more of an answer. Most people with a smart phone just want to pose.

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      In Rural Areas there are some areas where there are very peculiar receptions. I heard of one place where the only bit of the Village where there was reasonable reception involved standing on an old Milk Loading Stage(where in days of yore the Milk Churns used to be put for the collection lorry) and then you got reception but nowhere else in the Village. Gradually the gaps are being filled in but they still exist.

    • 11 years ago

      Even in large cities there are blackspots and large ones at that, where I live in Manchester we have a choice of o2 or Voda, the others simply have virtually no signal in the immediate area, 3G is patchy at best so I really feel sorry for those who are out in the sticks

    • Old Hand
      11 years ago

      Yes live in a black spot. Mobile is off when in the house anyway, too much RF about, use it when travelling. Don’t want another tower nearby, they start putting lots of other aerials on them too, that TETRA sounds pretty unhealthy.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      FFS
      waking up in the morning is bad for your health! because one day your going to Die and not make it through to the next morning

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      Isn’t all this talk of death a bid morbid. After all if I had a choice of how I was to die I think I would rather die in bed overnight. Much rather that than being run down crossing the street or killed in a plane crash. But while northumbrian may not like it I intend to live for another few years yet. Hopefully I will win the Euro Lottery Roll-over of whatever this Friday and I will long enough to spend it.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    I think ebay do a grand job
    I wish I were a penny behind them or even a few million

  • 11 years ago

    I don’t use a mobile. I pay my bills, taxes, run a business successfully, feed the kids + dog + wife etc etc etc not a great fan of this new fangled world.

  • Terry
    11 years ago

    Ebay fees are a bargain, weight them up with google adwords and the revenue it brings compared to ebay – ebay wins – if we spent our fees which are around 3k a month which then we get on avg 40k sales – wud 3k a month with google gives you that roi?

    • dave
      11 years ago

      Yes if you spent it properly and a propely made website and the right selection of products. Youd probably get more.

  • 11 years ago

    Is mobile technology really that secure and safe? If they can hack into Sony, they must learn their apprenticeship somewhere on an easier target. Baclaycard are introducing a mobile phone form of credit-debit payment. It only takes a security breach and public confidence has gone.

    • 11 years ago

      They have already learned the lesson in America where the 1st generation of banking apps were storing data on the users phone in plain text, lose or get your phone stolen and anyone could have your banking password, user name and account details. As with any technology there is no such thing as an infallible system “if you build it they will break it” sort of thing but the main concern remains the end user.

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      I have long thought that as Technology gets more and more complicated less and less people understand it and a far too high a proportion of those are essentially crooks out to hack the system and steal as many peoples(and organisations) identities, funds, trade secrets etc. Much better years ago when technology was so much simpler. Oh for the days when High Technology was powered by 250 pounds per square inch high pressure steam.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      and thousands of poor sods had to work down pits to get the coal needed for that Technology

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      Then they closed the pits and the communities that the pits supported and the people living in them were left to rot. Perhaps given the choice they might have prefered to have a job down the pits(even if many did not want their sons to go down the pits after them). In a few years(perhaps only a year or so) we are going to need that coal to power the Power Stations needed to power the technology so loved by northumbrian. In Germany they have decided to close the Nuclear Power Stations. They expect to power the Country with such as Wind and Solar-are they going to have problems. So probably Germany will have to fall back on Coal as well. On my mothers side many of the men were Coal Miners.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      if it were not down the pits, it was over the top to be machine gunned,
      or up the masts. or to suffer ill health and hunger,
      great times eh !, we love mobiles! ebay! computers !and the future the past is nasty

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      I would agree that some parts of the past are nasty. Some bits very nasty. But there were also some very good bits. I would point to the Steam Locomotive and highlight such as the Great Western Railway and its “King”, “Castle”, “Hall”, “Manor”, “Saint”, “Star” and other Classes. A Magnificent collection of important Locomotives. Then there were the Country Houses(I expect that northumbrian would highlight the fact that while the “Lords” lived in the magnificent “Country Houses” the peasants lived in 2 up 2 down terraced houses or Cottages often damp and with little heating. He is of course correct but the “Country Houses” have given us a tremendous Heritage much of it now Grade 1 Listed and much protected by the National Trust. Certainly we had Wars but always it was Officers and Men that went over the top not just the Men. We should Preserve for Posterity the best of the Past and remember the worst and look to the future and hope that we can learn from the lessons of the past. Part of todays problems are based upon the fact that many just write off the past without learning from it. Somebody said “That those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past”(or something like that I cannot remember the exact wording).

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      YEAH Steam locos great big nasty things that spewed out all sorts of green house thingys,
      burned tons of fuel,
      set fire to the countryside,
      sucked up hundreds of gallons of water,

    • 11 years ago

      Have you got a working model railway around the outside of your Castle?

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      I prefer to think of the Steam Locomotive as a magnificent working work of art. After all if you were to look at such as “Flying Scotsman” or “Mallard” or the finest of the lot 6024 “King Edward I” your soul would have to be totally dead not to be inspired by them. Talking of 6024 “King Edward I” I was in Didcot recently when for the first time since 1962 6024 and 6023 “King Edward II” were in steam and working together. What a truly magnificent sight. Not only are they magnificent but they were built to haul the heaviest abnd fastest Express Passenger Trains on the Great Western Railway. The Class was introduced in 1927(6023 and 6024 being from the second batch built in 1930) and they hauled the Express Trains until 1962 when diesels took over.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      In British slang an anorak ( /?æn?ræk/) is a person who has a very strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects. This interest may be unacknowledged or not understood by the general public. The best known explanation of the term is the use of anoraks (a type of rain jacket) by train spotters, a prototype group for interest in detailed trivia.

      Although the term is often used synonymously with geek, the Japanese term otaku or the American term “fanboy” are probably closer synonyms.

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      I will not tell you the slang terminology for people who use the word “Anorak” to critisise people whose minds are not dragging along in the gutter(mainly because as this is a family site where men and indeed women regularly read the postings and indeed add their often excellent postings I will not place a posting which may shock or horrify them). Don’t I remember a while ago an admission from northumbrian about his interest in Aston Martins. Now while he sees fit to critisise my interest in the National Heritage of this Country and indeed The World. I on the other hand will not stoop to the same low level as to critisise his interest in that very fine make of cars.(Indeed if I was to win the Euro Lottery tonight an Aston Martin may very well find its way onto my shopping list)

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      As I pointed out Steam Locomotives were built to Work. The “King” Class including 6023 and 6024 were built to haul the heaviest and fastest Express Passenger Trains on the Great Western Railway from London(Paddington Station) to the West(at that time they could only go down to Plymouth-they were not allowed over the Tamar Bridge), Wales and Birmingham etc on the Great Western Mainlines. In their lives on Mainline both 6023 and 6024 each covered over 1.5million miles. The Class of 30 must have covered in excess of 50 million miles. So not only are they magnificent and of course now important parts of the National Heritage but during their working lives they were also very important keeping the lines of communication open.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      eh
      I just copied and pasted from wikipedia
      no names were mentioned no personal insults, no specfic mention of anyone lol
      but if the cap fits wear it

    • 11 years ago

      I’m to young, as steam trains where gone before I was born. Was it like watching a kettle boil?

    • Chris
      11 years ago

      So does that mean that instead of thinking about what you post you find a “slang” word often used by fifth rate comedians with IQ’s about the same as the average baked bean and post that?

      Steam Locomotive hauled scheduled trains ended on BR in 1968. Then there was a few years when Steam Trains were banmned on BR. Then they were allowed again and now of course there are Steam Hauled Excursions just about every weekend somewhere on the National Railway Network. So if you know where to look you will find Steam Trains every weekend. Also there are Preserved Railways in just about every county in the UK. The total mileage of Preserved Railway is longer than the London Underground Network. Again just about every weekend(certainly during the summer months and around Christmas with such as Santa Specials) most Preserved Railways operate Steam Trains. Some also operate during the week as well. So even if you are too young to have seen scheduled Steam Trains there are plenty to see. As to the “kettle” certainly they take a long time to warm up, especially from cold. But if you want to ride behind a Steam Locomotive or just watch from an over bridge you will not be watching the “kettle” boil but if you want to turn up in the yard at Midnight you maybe able to watch them slowly warm up(its better to warm them up over a longer time as the boiler warms up evenly-if you warm up too quickly you can set up stresses and strains that can cause damage). But they are magnificent and the Industrial Revolution and certainly Transport in this Country and indeed the World could not have operated for well over a century without them.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    Cringe

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