World Cup mobile user experience
The 2006 World Cup in Germany was seen for a long time as a potential watershed for mobile data usage and a great way to drive momentum around mobile TV in particular. As the event drew closer, the industry became more realistic in its expectations: broadcast mobile TV was still barely out of the pilot stages in most major markets and patchy 3G coverage, high subscription costs and poor viewing quality were limiting the uptake of streamed services.

However, right up until the opening of the competition, some research companies were still bullish on the revenue prospects. Informa T&M predicted USD 300m revenues from mobile TV services during the World Cup.

With the winners decided on the field, we can take a somewhat more realistic view of users’ experiences with mobile data during the competition. An NOP poll of UK subscribers (commissioned by Olista) found 29 percent of people who used a World Cup service were ‘first time’ data users, persuaded to experiment by their desire to keep up-to-date with events in Germany. Clearly the industry’s marketing was persuading people to try new applications.

The same survey found that 44 percent of all customers (i.e. both new and experienced mobile data users) would not use the service again.

Far from building momentum around mobile data, these figures would suggest the net result of the World Cup has been to generate a negative user experience among mobile subscribers.

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