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Mobile 3G Still Searching for Market Demand

After years of eagerly anticipating that video services would be the meaningful application that created demand for 3G, a new survey from In-Stat finds that existing and potential 3G mobile service customers are much more interested in high-quality mapping and navigation services.

However, 3G mobile service providers that want to capture that market will have to expand the availability of compatible handsets. "Expanding the number of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) or Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) handsets from today's levels will be an important step for 3G carriers to provide the applications their customers really want," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "Unfortunately, technology choices left over from the 1990s make this difficult but carriers and handset vendors are starting to provide an increasing flow of products that better meet the 3G customers' needs."

In addition, the In-Stat report "3G and Mobile Multimedia," based on a survey of over 1,000 mobile users, found the following:

- Current 3G users are very enthusiastic about the service, which is in marked contrast with other customers who have expressed dissatisfaction with premium applications.

- Customer awareness of 3G is not particularly strong, with over half the respondents indicating they don't know whether their carrier offers 3G.

- An unprecedented number of respondents -- nearly half—indicated that they would consider changing carriers in order to get 3G.

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