Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Home Zone is a Home Zone

This week ABI Research released the results of a survey conducted on behalf of Motorola. The article states that while “…the majority of consumers have never heard of femtocells…”, “…more than 40% of European mobile and internet users plan to purchase femtocells in the next 12 months.”

It’s easy to conclude then, that the questions focused not on the wireless technology to be used in the home (e.g. a ‘femtocell’), but on the benefits of having a “Home Zone” service, where the key factors were better in-home mobile coverage and lower costs.

Demand was highest in Poland, Spain and Italy, with moderate demand in France and the UK. Germany had the lowest demand of the six countries surveyed.

We at UMA Today thought this sounded a bit familiar. Through the magic of the web, we were able to recall a similar announcement from Motorola in August, 2005. Three years ago, Motorola announced the results of a survey of 1,000 consumers in six countries on the demand for a dual-mode handset service. This time the countries were France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the UK.

And the results??? About the same.

Demand was highest in Sweden, Spain and Italy, moderate demand in France, lower demand in the UK and Germany.

I think there are some very interesting data-points from both surveys:

  • Clearly there is continued demand for home zone services, regardless of the technology.
  • I find it ironic that Italy continues to show strong demand, showing me that Telecom Italia Mobile’s Unica service was a victim of regulatory roadblocks rather than consumer interest.
  • Orange’s plans for its Unik/Unique service are in UK, Spain, and Poland, three countries with strong demand for Home Zone services.

UMA Today continues to be a strong supporter of Home Zone services, and this is simply confirms that there is market demand from consumers for a thoughtful, value-oriented service offer.

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