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UK Mobile Internet Revenues to Overtake Fixed Broadband in 2017

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 (8:01 am) - Score 554
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The latest Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2015-2019 report from PwC has predicted that revenues from Mobile Internet access (Mobile Broadband etc.) are set to overtake fixed line broadband services in 2017, increasing by an annual growth rate of 7.1% to reach £7bn by 2019 (the highest in Western Europe).

According to PwC, the entire UK E&M sector is set to grow by 3.2% per year over the next 5 years and will be worth £66.6 billion by 2019, while nearly a third of this will be Internet specific (i.e. consumers spending £14bn on Internet access [the 2014 figure is £11bn] and promoters spending £12bn on Internet advertising). Unsurprisingly the revenues from digital should overtake non-digital by 2019.

By comparison global Internet access related revenue is set to approach £457bn (US$700bn) by 2019.

Phil Stokes, UK Entertainment and Media Leader at PwC, said:

Revenues from digital look set to reach a 50/50 share with non-digital in 2020, with the biggest revenue generators in digital being internet access and internet advertising, and the fastest growing digital sectors being TV advertising, out-of-home advertising and book publishing.

Increasingly, though, it’s clear that consumers see no significant divide between digital and traditional media – what they want is more flexibility, freedom and convenience in when, where and how they interact with their preferred content.

Having a digital strategy is not as compelling as having an overall strategy that’s fit for a digital age – one that marries together online and offline experiences for consumers.”

Admittedly fixed broadband services have in the past tended to dominant the United Kingdom’s online economy and that was driven by the fact that most of us have a connection at home or in the office, with the majority of related packages now offering “unlimited” access.

But over the past few years we’ve seen mobile Internet connectivity grow at a rapid pace, thanks largely to mobile data becoming more accessible since the first truly affordable 3G based Mobile Broadband services emerged in 2007/8. Meanwhile mobile-capable Tablet computers and Smartphones have all grown up, with most of us making use of them.

More recently the introduction of 4G has also made it a lot easier for mobile connectivity to deliver faster speeds and more flexible usage allowances, although usage flexibility is still one area where fixed lines have a clear edge. Similarly if you’re lucky enough to live close to a good FTTC street cabinet, FTTH/P provider or cable node then you’ll probably still get significantly better speeds than mobile.

But speed doesn’t solely drive Internet revenues, sometimes just having a decent connection that is reasonably flexible and which you can access almost anywhere is more compelling. Right now mobile seems to be delivering that, but if you want to enjoy lots of HD or 4K video streaming, download big software/games and enjoy fast paced multiplayer gaming then it’s still hard to beat a decent home broadband line.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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