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UK Mobile internet use nearing 50%

Mobile browsing continues to increase according to the latest monthly ONS survey.  The survey of 1800 adults found that over 45% of respondents connect to the internet from a mobile device.  This was substantially higher within the younger age group with 71% of 16-24 yr olds connecting on the move. This has significant implications for businesses looking to engage these customers.  Businesses without a mobile strategy run the risk of missing out on this traffic, which for some organisations, may be passing their door.  Companies need to consider how their website performs in mobile search both in terms of search results and how successfully it displays on the various devices. The report goes on to confirm the continued rise of household internet access with number now reaching 77%.  This trend is likely to increase, however it remains the case that older households are less likely to have access or see the need for access.  In the short term this may be a challenge for Governments plans to move services online.

Almost half of UK internet users are going online via mobile phone data connections, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some 45% of people surveyed said they made use of the net while out and about, compared with 31% in 2010. The most rapid growth was among younger people, where 71% of internet-connected 16 to 24-year-olds used mobiles. Domestic internet use also rose. According to the ONS, 77% of households now have access to a net connection. That figure was up 4% from the previous year, representing the slowest rate of growth since the ONS survey began in 2006. Among the 23% of the population who remain offline, half said they “didn’t need the internet”.

The ONS report is the first since dot-com entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox was appointed as the government’s UK Digital Champion, with a brief to increase internet uptake.  In a statement, Ms Lane-Fox said: “That so many offline households don’t see any reason to get online reinforces the importance of the digital champions network that the Raceonline2012 partners are creating.”

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