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Accenture recently conducted a Mobile Web Watch Survey in 13 countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, to determine the impact of a new generation of “always connected” mobile internet users that primarily access the Internet through mobile devices.
Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the primary medium to access the Internet across age groups, and across mature and emerging markets. In the United Kingdom, 2012 saw the world’s first truly digital Olympics, with the BBC observing that its content was being consumed across personal computers, mobiles, tablets and connected televisions at different times of the day.The Olympic effect is only one factor in driving the use of smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other affordable Web-enabled mobile devices in the UK. Better network coverage; upcoming 4G spectrum auctions; high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi network rollout; and the explosive growth of mobile apps are helping fuel the demand for ubiquitous availability of Internet services.
A survey conducted by Accenture on Internet access through mobile devices confirms that mobile Internet usage continues to be on a sharp upward trajectory. Indeed, it has now reached the stage when communications, media and technology companies must be prepared to take advantage of the business opportunities and the operational efficiencies of a mass market.
The survey, conducted in 13 countries in Europe (including the UK and Ireland), Latin America and South Africa, identifies five key trends in the digital consumer’s behaviour that have implications not only for players in telecommunications, media and technology, but also for those in other industries such as retail, utilities and automotive.
In the production of the key findings listed below, the survey probed a number of variables such as the frequency of mobile Internet usage, the range of activities on the Internet, the use of social media, online platforms, online services on mobile devices, the brand preferences for devices and operating systems, the consumer’s criteria for selecting network providers, the ability and willingness to pay for premium services and the barriers to the adoption of the mobile Internet:
Growing use of mobile Internet—Mobile internet usage growing in all markets: South Africa, Brazil and Ireland had the highest number of users accessing the Internet on mobile devices while France, Germany and Finland had the lowest. The UK ranked 11th among the 13 countries surveyed.
Narrowing gender gap—in the UK, 65 percent of men respondents accessed the Internet on a mobile device compared with 63 percent of women.
More personal than work-related use—Fifty-seven percent of respondents in the UK accessing the Web on a smartphone did so for personal matters (higher than the average of 58 percent for all countries) against 16 percent for work-related matters.
Gen X and ageing consumer showing growing appetite for mobile over Internet—Eighty-eight percent of the UK respondents in the 14-29 age bracket accessed the Internet on a mobile device. For those above 50, at least 43 percent were involved in such activities against the average of 47 percent for all countries.
There is an app for everything—At least 56 percent used their mobile device to access online communities such as Facebook. Mobile banking growth is also evident with 40 percent using a mobile device to conduct a banking transaction. In total, 69 percent of mobile Internet users have downloaded programs or apps on their mobile device.
Videos on mobile grabbing eye balls—Forty-nine percent of the users downloaded or viewed short videos of less than five minutes.
Quality is king—Respondents ranked quality of network as the most important factor in choosing a network provider for mobile Internet access. Cost of data is ranked the fourth-most important factor.
Data security concerns impede mass adoption—Sixty-seven percent of mobile Internet users are worried about data security while 18 percent perceive the monthly cost of accessing the Internet on their mobile devices to be higher than expected.
Opportunity to monetise new services—Eighty-two percent of respondents are interested in premium technical services and 66 percent in consumer cloud services. Respondents are willing to pay for them, with nearly 60 percent willing to pay up to US$10.
09 October 2012
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