New statistics reveal hike in UK mobile internet use

Out-Law News | 02 Sep 2011 | 11:06 am | 1 min. read

Nearly half of all UK internet users have accessed online content through their mobile phone this year, according to new statistics.

The figures, which were published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) following a survey, said that 45% of UK citizens who have accessed the internet this year did so from a mobile phone.

A rise in the number of young people using their mobiles to access the internet contributed to the figure, the ONS said.

"The information ... shows that 71 per cent of 16-24 year old Internet users accessed the internet via a mobile, the highest of any age group, up from 44 per cent in 2010," an ONS statement said.

Only 8% of internet users aged 65 or over connected online through a mobile, making it the "least likely" age group to access the internet via phones, it said. Six million people used their mobile to access the internet for the first time within the last year, the ONS said.

The ONS said that 38% of all adults had used other mobile devices, including laptops or tablets, to access the internet this year.

Approximately two thirds of all adult internet users purchased something online within the past year and 40% downloaded films or music. More than one in five people who used the internet within the last three months to carry out "various computer related activities" said they did not believe they have sufficient skills to protect their personal data, the figures said.

The number of internet users connecting to public wireless hotspots almost doubled in the last year, with 4.9 million users connecting to the services, whilst 77% of households now have internet access compared to 73% last year, the figures said.

"It is notable that half of those without a household Internet connection said they didn’t have one because they ‘don’t need the internet’," the ONS said.

More than 82% of the adult population have used the internet at some stage, but less than a quarter of those aged 75 or over have, and more than a third of disabled people surveyed said they had, the ONS figures said.

The figures also recorded a rise in the number of adults who use social networking sites.

"Overall, 57% of adult internet users used online social networks in 2011, up from 43% in 2010," the ONS said. Less than one in 10 internet users aged 16-24 do not use a social networking sites, it said.