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December 13, 2012

UK downloads more mobile data than any other major country

An Ofcom report reveals that 16% of all website traffic in the UK was through a mobile device.

By Tineka Smith

The UK was found to have one of the highest penetrations of mobile technologies with 58% owning a smartphone while fewer than 19%own a tablet.

Over 50% of UK consumers used a laptop to connect to the internet while another 12% used smartphones and other connected devices to access the internet.

The report revealed that only 37% of people actually use a desktop computer as the most frequent way of accessing the internet.

The increase of accessing internet through mobiles has resulted in the UK downloading more mobile data than any other major nation.

The average UK mobile connection used 424 megabytes of data in December 2011. This put the UK above any other country, with Japan coming in second place (392 megabytes) and the US in sixth (319 megabytes).

The use of mobile internet is also being driven by the popularity of social media. 40% of UK adults now use their phones to visit social networking sites. The figure rose to nearly 62% for adults aged 18-24 years.

Mobile devices have also been responsible for internet shopping becoming more popular in the UK.

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UK consumers currently spend more on internet shopping than any other country, with the average person contributing £1,083 per year.

Over 23% of UK adults were found to use their device to visit retail websites.

"Ofcom’s survey shows us that the UK is leading the way in Internet shopping – and that the way we interact with shopping is changing," said Vanessa Barnett, technology and media lawyer at Charles Russell LLP. "Mobile allows us to be connected 24/7 and undertake much more ‘one the fly’ shopping. In fact this is also backed up by Google’s research in the summer showing a spike in spontaneous shopping happening mainly on mobile devices. The scope of online shopping also shows that the UK is a great place to be a retailer wishing to harness technology."

However, a recent study by Virgin Media Business revealed the retail industry as the most in need of a technological revolution.

The study found that 73% of retail CIOs said more technology was needed in shops, especially in the run up to Christmas.

"A multi-channel approach to attracting customers into stores and making them part with their cash is now a necessity for retailers," said Tony Grace, COO of Virgin Media Business. "CIOs in the sector have clearly recognised this and are pushing for more to be done with technology on the high street. By making the right technology decisions, both in store and online, retailers and consumers stand to get the maximum benefits from digital solutions."

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