I think data will be the biggest driver in the UK mobile market during 2011 – building on the huge growth we saw over the past 12 months.
We’re anticipating the sale of smartphones to continue to skyrocket as more and more people realise the potential of these handsets and what they can do on them. They will become mainstream.
We’re expecting up to 80% of customers to opt for a smartphone when they upgrade or invest in a new device over the next 12 months.
Last year we introduced a market-changing price plan in the form of The One Plan, with all the minutes, texts and data most customers need each month for one payment – reducing the fear of out of bundle charges.
It is proving to be a success and we plan to continue to lead and change the market when it comes to offering customers value and peace of mind.
Of course, to meet the needs of all these data-hungry smartphones, and the surge in sales we’re seeing in tablets like the iPad, not to mention our MiFi, you need a 3G network that can handle this growth in demand.
We will continue to invest in and manage our network to ensure it continues to grow both in terms of speed and coverage.
Lastly, once again the decisions the Government is due to make during the coming months will define the future of mobile communications in the UK for many years to come.
First up will be the issue of spectrum, the stuff that fuels mobile broadband, and how that will be allocated across the industry.
Getting this right is vital and consumers will continue to have a healthy and competitive market for mobile internet and broadband.
And we are also expecting Ofcom to follow-through on its intention to lower Mobile Termination Rates and ensure consumers get a better deal when it comes to calling mobiles.