Tuesday, March 20, 2007

UK Mobile internet use sets new records

The trickle of transfer from fixed line internet to mobile is becoming a very steady and faster growing stream . The torrent, the flood, is not far behind.

According to the Mobile Data Association UK mobile phone users accessed the internet via their phone 15.9 million times in… a month! (December 2006).

It’s a record, following hard on the heels of the record of 14.9 million unique sessions the month before.

That’s a considerable rate of increase by anyone’s standards. In the past three months there were 45.6 million unique sessions via mobile in the UK.

And guess what – these figures only include O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Whose missing? 3 – who just happened to introduce free-at-the-point-of-use internet access on mobile at the beginning of December.

At the same time text messaging is continuing to grow and grow and grow – 4.4 billion were sent in the UK in December – another record.

The Association of Online Publishers added this week: "54 per cent of people in the UK with an internet enabled mobile device use it to go online and the content of choice via this platform is weather, sport, stock quotes and news."

The research was conducted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) based in the US. The UK is outperforming the US and the rest of Europe in internet access via mobile platforms.

"Brands were found to play a significant role in driving mobile internet activity across all content categories as more than 50 per cent of mobile internet consumers use the same brands they use on their PC."

Think about that for a moment - they will come looking for your branded website on mobile internet - whether you are ready or not.

Pity the experience will be disastrous unless you've gone to the trouble of building for mobile.

Time to line the boats up? Be first up the river – or dashed against the rocks?

It's all going to get faster. Analysts are saying increased data use should be expected over the next year because more mobile enabled phones are now out there (it was 3G Christmas, after all) and because the operators are lining up to follow 3’s lead on sensible data pricing.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?