A study by research firm Nielsen Online shed light on the booming mobile internet market in Britain which grew eight times faster than wired internet across the country, although in absolute numbers, the latter still accounts for the overwhelming number of connections.
In the last quarter alone, mobile internet was up by 25 percent with the younger generation of surfers more likely to use the internet on the move than stuck to their desktops. A quarter of all mobile internet users are aged between 15 and 24 while only one in six of desktop internet users.
In comparison, fixed internet users only rose from 34.3 million to 35.3 million. Should UK mobile internet continue to grow at the current rate, the sector should overtake fixed internet by end of 2010, which is feasible since there are more mobile phones in Britain than computers.
According to Nielsen Online, more than 7.5 million UK users access the web regularly through their mobile phones. The research did not cover mobile broadband internet using dongles (or tethered mobile phones) and laptops.
The most popular websites are BBC News and Google, both of which attracted nearly a quarter of UK mobile internet users - that's 1.7 million users - while Facebook, BBC Weather and Sports, Ebay and Hotmail were also quite popular.
Kent Ferguson, senior analyst at Nielsen Online, said that : "When it comes to the internet, the huge growth is now happening through the mobile platform. The fact that almost seven and a half million Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups."
He also added that "This highlights the advantage of mobile when it comes to immediacy; people often need fast, instant access to weather or sports news and mobile can obviously satisfy this, wherever they are. Mobile internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment, as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites."
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