SMS More Popular Than the Internet*

Text Messaging Usage Grows 32 Percent In UK; Uptake Of Mobile Broadband Dongles Surges | mocoNews.net:

Text messaging remains the most widely used data application in the UK, with 2007 revenues nearly three times the figures for data revenue. Regulator Ofcom revealed in its hefty annual survey of the communications market published today that SMS revenue for 2007 was £2.7 billion pounds, compared with £1 billion for data revenues and £11.4 billion for voice.

Good roundup from MocoNews on UK regulator Ofcom’s latest survey of the telecom market (full report here). In short, SMS continues to boom, up a third in 2007, with people sending an average of 67 messages per month. Meanwhile, 44 percent of British adults text daily, as opposed to just 36 percent that use the internet each day, and just 25 percent never use SMS, while 28 percent never use the internet.

But what about the mobile internet? Ofcom says on one of the survey’s summary pages that “More than one in ten mobile phone users have accessed the internet on their mobile phone”. The report later cites data saying that just 5 percent of internet users age 15 and above used the internet on a “portable device” in Q108, unchanged from the previous year. It also says that there were 12.5 million 3G subscriptions at the end of 2007, or about 17 percent of all 74 million mobile subs (note that’s serving a population of 60 million). One big point that Ofcom emphasized was the takeoff of mobile broadband dongles — it claims 2 million UK adults said they’d “used a data card, USB modem or dongle to access the internet in March 2008”.

But take all these stats with a grain of salt: back in June, the MDA said 16.5 million people in the UK used the mobile internet in May. Who to believe? Anyway, there’s plenty of stats to pour over in the full report if you’re interested.

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