3G moving beyond early adoption

3G moving beyond early adoption

With about 1.5 million 3G handsets already on the market, industry pundits claim it is passing the early adopter phase and will take off this Christmas.

There remains, however, a large gap in public understanding of 3G services.

Director of wireless and broadcast for digital services developer Hyro, Chris Flintoft, said it needed to be tackled with more proactive marketing.

"We are on the cusp of 3G mobile becoming much more widespread but it still is not clearly marketed." he said. "The telcos need to take the lead and work really hard with the retail channel to make sure everyone who walks out of the store understands how their phone works."

Strategic marketing manager for Ericsson Australia, Aaron Maher, said resellers aiming to make the most from 3G content packages needed to be transitioning their focus.

"We are still in the early adopter stage where people go into shops and know what they want. But we are in transition," he said. "To sell to the laggards, resellers will need to know a lot more about how 3G works and the different options available."

Both Maher and Flintoft said the best way to sell to this next phase of 3G adopters would be to demonstrate how the services works and offer services tailored to the interests of individual customers.

In an effort to capture this emerging market, telcos are competing fiercely to provide unique content. Already ahead in terms of market exposure, Hutchison's 3 announced a mobile TV pack, providing unlimited access to six different mobile TV channels.

"The rationale behind the launch of this new content package was to provide customers with access to content, while at the same time providing them with a level of certainty regarding the cost of the service," head of music, mobile and TV for 3, Amanda Hutton, said. "A subscription package gives people the opportunity to access the content as much as they like without racking up huge bills."

3 is also linking the content package to its reseller incentive program, encouraging dealers to sell them in conjunction with new handsets.

"The content package really completes the vision of what 3G is before they leave the store," Hutton said. "And the offer will be widely promoted so it should help to drive traffic."

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