The Social Shaping of 3G: A project for the UMTS Forum

How do you prepare a customer for the arrival of a brand new mobile communications technology if you are the provider of that technology?

The UMTS Forum, have asked the DWRC to provide material that can be used to educate future 3G suppliers about customer driven needs and expectations. This information will provide a basis for helping them to deliver 3G products and services that meet customer needs, whilst at the same time helping them to cultivate the customer’s expectations for those products. The study is delivering to the UMTS Forum in three phases the first of which investigates how peoples’ behaviours have shaped and in turn been shaped by the introduction of GSM digital mobile phones. The subsequent phases will build on this research to determine potential constraints and enablers for the introduction of 3G, in particular behavioural patterns that many impact the chosen 3G scenarios.

The first study, which started in April 2002, was completed in January 2003 and was presented at the UMTS Forum General Assembly in January 2003 and at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, February 2003. The report, Social Shaping of UMTS, Preparing the 3G Customer, is available on only to UMTS Forum members (Report 26). However, the Executive Summary is publicly available, as is a specially prepared version of the report from EITO (European Information Technology Observatory): Vincent, J., Harper, R., (2003) Social Shaping of UMTS - Preparing the 3G Customer. European Information Technology Observatory Preparing the 3G Customer pp 246-266.

A second study, Informing Suppliers about User Behaviours to Better Prepare them for their 3G/UMTS Customers, was completed in January 2004. Published as UMTS Forum Report 34, it is available to members only.

The Research Team

Dr Jane Vincent was the main investigator.

Richard Harper assisted with the first study and Leslie Haddon, with the second.