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UK Mobile Web Usage Surpasses US and Japan for Top Spot, 60% of Users Own Smartphones

For the first time, the UK has become the leading nation in mobile web usage. A report published by Ofcom earlier last week found that smartphone users in the UK are downloading more data than any other major nation, including Japan and the U.S. which were placed into second and third place respectively. With 60% of the UK population reported to be smartphone users, mobile data has become a necessity in the UK.

The report based its research across 17 major countries and announced that the UK is the first to become an “all-digital” nation. 23% of UK residents are more likely to stream TV content over the Internet as opposed to 17% in the US and 16% in Spain. After the US, the UK was second to adopt high-definition display televisions with 41% of households claiming HDTV ownership.  Additionally, one out of five UK residents are reported to own a tablet computer.

The high rates of penetration in the latest technology have led the UK to become a global leader in mobile traffic. 40% of UK adults access their social networking sites on mobile devices. Popular websites such Facebook, Twitter and Youtube drive data usage as UK consumers download 424 megabytes of data each month on their smartphones. That number has grown 60% over the past year. 18- to 24-year olds in the UK also top the mobile data user charts as they spent 728 minutes a week online.

The report also finds that online shopping is a major contributor fueling the rise of mobile data usage. The UK sets the pace for online shopping, as a fifth (23%) of UK consumers use their mobile devices to visit retail sites. Ofcom found that the amount of money spent on Internet shopping increased by 14% from £950 per consumer to £1,083 on average. As a result, mobile strategies for retail stores are becoming increasingly important in the UK.

These findings show that the UK has become a nation obsessed with the latest technology trends. James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, had the following to say: “Our research shows that UK consumers continue to benefit from one of the most advanced markets for communications products and services… The UK leads the way in using the Internet on the move.”

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