Smartphone and tablet ownership is rocketing

Well over half (58 percent) of the mobile phones in the UK are now smartphones, and one in five adults now owns a tablet computer. Eight out of ten people recognise the link between mobile phone masts and good coverage, as they increasingly use their mobile devices to access the Internet.

Those are some of the results of new research carried out for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) by YouGov.

MOA Executive Director John Cooke said: “The speed with which people are adopting this new technology has been phenomenal. Even more important than the figures on ownership is the way these devices are changing consumer behaviour. People are increasingly choosing to use mobile devices to access the Internet, even when they have a fixed connection available. It’s not surprising that email and accessing social networking sites are the most popular activities for mobile broadband, but we are also looking at maps and finding directions, checking train and bus times, and shopping.

He added; “It’s important that the planning system supports the deployment of mobile infrastructure, because without it, people won’t be able to use their mobile devices as they want to and as they are increasingly doing. Mobile connectivity is a crucial driver for economic growth and brings benefits to individuals, communities and businesses across the country.”

The research also shows that 69% of people access local or central government services online. However, they are predominantly using a laptop or desktop computer to do so: the numbers using a mobile device for this are lower than for other online activities, with only 7% using a smartphone and 5% using a tablet computer to do so.

Mobile operators are keen to work with local councils to provide better mobile telecommunications services to their communities. Under the “Ten Commitments to Best Siting Practice”, the mobile operators provide annual rollout plans, showing their existing sites and network proposals for the following twelve months, to every local planning authority in the UK. The latest rollout plans were sent to councils in October.

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