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August 06, 2012

Slow Speeds Rankle Mobile Users

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

A couple of new studies point out the reasons why mobile service providers are globally building fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks. 

A new study by Keynote Systems (News - Alert) shows that 60 percent of tablet users expect to wait less than three seconds to get to a website, while 48 percent of PC Web users want download speeds faster than two seconds. 

Smart phone user expectations are also high, with 64 percent wanting a website to load within four seconds and 82 percent of respondents wanting a mobile website to load within five seconds.

Separately, a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests 77 percent of mobile Internet users experience slow download speeds. Of those users, 46 percent say they face slow download speeds weekly or more frequently.

To be sure, mobile service providers also expect 4G networks will provide price per bit advantages, but there is no doubt faster speeds are required. 

The Keynote Systems study suggests the top three activities performed on a smartphone were accessing local information (88 percent), searching for information (82 percent), and participating in social media sites (76 percent).  

Smart phone users preferred to use mobile apps over mobile websites for map information, social media updates, email and banking information. 

Users preferred mobile websites for news, food information, entertainment information, travel or shopping information and shopping. “Web page slow to load” was the top mobile frustration. 

The top activities for tablets were to read news and entertainment, search for information and watch videos. Unlike smart phone users, tablet users were mostly indifferent about choosing a mobile app or a mobile website for their various activities.

Some 60 percent of tablet users want a sub-three second download time and "Web page slow to load” is the top frustration.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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