Thu, Jan 17, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Mobile Internet speed rates low: poll

SLOW ACCESS:Nearly two-thirds of respondents also opposed a suggestion that ‘unlimited Internet access’ be canceled, disputing claims it was causing traffic jams

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

While mobile devices are increasing in popularity, more than half of mobile users expressed dissatisfaction with local wireless Internet access speeds, a survey released by Taiwan Digital Convergence Development Association (台灣數位匯流發展協會) showed yesterday.

The survey, conducted between Dec. 17 and Dec. 28, showed that 57.6 percent of the 1,501 people polled were not happy with Internet access speeds using 3G, 3.5G or 4G WiMAX networks, the association said. That figure showed little improvement from the 59.3 percent who said they were dissatisfied with the service in the association’s previous survey released in August.

Asked whether carriers should cancel their “unlimited Internet access” pricing plans — which telecoms service providers claim are a major cause of the Internet traffic jams — 62.7 percent of respondents said they were against the idea, while 34.2 percent agreed, the survey showed.

As of last month, “unlimited Internet access” plans accounted for 80.5 percent of all mobile Internet subscriptions, while “pay as you go” plans held 17.8 percent of the market, the association said.

As for the government’s plan to release 4G wireless licenses this year, 82.9 percent of respondents said they were not familiar with the concept of “4G mobile networks,” the association said.

Though 4G mobile networks can enhance mobile device users’ data access speed and Web surfing experience with more mobile broadband slots, 70 percent of respondents said they did not foresee demand for the service, while 25.1 percent said they did, the survey showed.

Other than mobile Internet services, 34.4 percent of respondents said they use asymmetric digital subscriber lines (ADSL) to access the Internet, and 24.1 percent said they rely on fiber-optics to connect to the Web.

While 73.3 percent of fixed-line network service users said they were satisfied with broadband speed, 22.7 percent were not. That compares with a satisfaction rate of 68.8 percent in the August report and a dissatisfaction rate of 24.7 percent.

Asked about local terrestrial TV channels’ switch from analog to digital broadcasting in July last year, 52.1 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the service, while 30.2 percent said they were not.

The figures represented declines of 4.4 percentage points and 4.7 percentage points from 34.8 percent and 56.5 percent respectively in the August report.

The survey also found that 55.7 percent of TV subscribers were unhappy with cable service fees, versus 37.7 percent who said the fees were acceptable.

However, 81.7 percent of rspondents said they were unaware of the government’s “digital convergence policy,” and more than 90 percent said they did not know what “digital convergence” means, the poll showed.

The term refers to the convergence of information technologies, telecommunications, consumer electronics and entertainment, the association said.

Meanwhile, 54.1 percent of respondents said they were disappointed with the National Communications Commission’s performance, 21.5 percent said they were satisfied and 24.4 percent had no comment.

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