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Mobile Phone Based Internet Usage Sees Growth

Posted: 15th May, 2007 By: MarkJ
Comscore reports that 5.7 million people in the UK used their mobile phone to surf the Internet during January 2007. This compares favourably with the 30 million users aged 15 or older who accessed the web from a PC (home or work):

At 19 percent of the PC-based Internet audience, the U.K. Mobile Web market is similarly developed on a relative basis to the U.S. Mobile Web market, where 30 million (or 19 percent) of the 159 million U.S. PC Web users of a comparable age accessed the Web from a mobile device during the same month.

The Telephia and comScore research, MobileWeb Metrix, reveals that U.K. Mobile Web users under 35 years of age account for 67 percent of the entire Mobile Web audience in the U.K., whereas the same age segment accounts for 39 percent of the PC-based Internet audience. Research findings in the U.S. show that those under 35 account for 46 percent of the Mobile Web audience and 36.5 percent of the PC-based Internet audience.

Gender is also an influencing factor. The study reveals that 63 percent of Mobile Web users in the U.K. are male, compared to 54 percent of PC Internet users. In the U.S., 60 percent of Mobile Web users are male versus 49 percent of PC Internet users.

“Similar to the Internet 10-15 years ago, men under the age of 35 are the early adopters of new technology and more likely to use mobile devices to access the Mobile Web than women or men aged over 35,” commented Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

“The Mobile Web is at an early state of development, but we expect Mobile Web usage to grow as phone performance improves, sites optimise their content for the small screen and operators fine tune their tariffs, enabling consumers to take full advantage of mobile phone capabilities, content and convenience”.

The most popular sites for mobile surfers to visit turned out to be the BBC and MSN-Windows Live, attracting 2.3 million and 1.75 million unique visitors respectively. Yahoo, Google and Sky followed closely behind.

In recent months UK mobile operators have begun to embrace data/Internet access with more consumer affordable packages, which could signal further growth in the future. Personally we’d much rather use the mobile as a wireless modem for laptop surfing, unfortunately operators aren’t too keen on that.
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