The UK leads the world when it comes to mobile data, internet shopping and catch-up TV. That’s the conclusion of Ofcom’s seventh International Communications Market Report, which looked at the availability, adoption, price and use of broadband, fixed-line telephone, mobile, TV, radio and postal services in 16 major countries. UK usage was compared with customers in France, Germany, Italy, the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Brazil, Russia, India and China.
58% of UK adults had a smartphone - one of the highest penetration figures worldwide - while 19% had a tablet device.
For the first time in Ofcom’s surveys, UK consumers were found to be downloading more data on their mobiles and tablets than any other nation. The average UK mobile connection used 424 megabytes of data in December 2011, followed by Japan with 392 MB/month.
Overall, 16% of all website traffic in the UK had come from a mobile, tablet or other similar device; the highest in Europe. The figure was much higher for some types of site: 40% of UK adults (and 62% of 18 to 24-year-olds) used their mobile phones to visit social networking sites.
Online shopping is now more popular in the UK than anywhere else in the survey, with UK consumers spending £1,083 per head on ecommerce in 2011; a 14% rise from 2010. Second is Australia at £842 each.
When it comes to mobile shopping, 23.1% of UK smartphone users use their devices to visit retail websites.