Mobile broadband connections will exceed fixed-line broadband connections in 2011, according to a new report Taking Internet Mobile: UK, to be released by research and analyst house mobileSQUARED on 5 November.
By 2011 the number of active 3G devices in the UK will be 36.3 million, as well as 6.4 million dongles/embedded devices, taking the total number of mobile broadband connections to 42.7 million versus expected broadband internet users of 42.5 million.
While the analyst house predicts internet usage over the mobile phone will remain below traditional fixed-line usage during the forecast period of 2009-2014, the company’s research has revealed that between 1-10% of a company’s internet traffic is already being generated from a mobile device.
“Mobile will become the primary access point for brands and businesses communicating with its consumers within two years,” said Nick Lane, chief analyst at mobileSQUARED, and author of the report. “Mobile is always-on, and the average user carries their device for an average of 16 hours a day. So if a company or brand is not already considering how to use mobile, then they need to because their customers are.”
However, not all of the 3G broadband connections in 2011 will be used for surfing by UK consumers. The report forecasts the number of mobile internet users in the UK will top 32 million by 2014 (equating to 90% of 3G broadband subscribers), but believes the 32 million figure could be reached faster with clearer data pricing from UK operators as well as the introduction of variable data pricing.
“Data pricing in the UK is still confusing,” adds Lane. “Mobile operators and high-street retailers produce monthly magazines dedicated to handsets and tariffs, how can that not be confusing to the consumer? The number of mobile internet users would expand even faster if mobile data pricing reflected existing models, such as variable pricing to appeal to the different demographics. The cash-poor, time-rich youth democratic cannot afford the flat-rata plans, so why not offer a data pricing concession to encourage adoption?”
During the forecast period 2009-2014, mobileSQUARED predicts mobile content and services revenues (including apps) in the UK will almost treble from revenues of £242.1 million in 2009. Similarly, the analyst house forecasts that revenue from the core internet-based mobile advertising models of banners and links, search and tenancy, will be worth £83.7 million in 2014.