Ofcom: mobile usage up, spend down


Mobile usage is at an all time high, but network operators are earning less from mobile service provision than four years ago.

However, industry regulator Ofcom’s latest annual report shows the UK communications industry is still worth £51 billion.

The mobile industry now comprises 74 million connections – equating to penetration of 123 per cent in a population of 60 million, up 48 per cent in five years.

The overall cost of communications has fallen 4.4 per cent, or by £4.31 per month, since 2004, thanks, according to Ofcom, to ‘multiplay’ deals and consumer bargain hunting.

Customers are using mobiles twice as much as in 2002, with usage up from five minutes to 10 minutes per day. More than 60 billion text messages were sent in 2007, with an average of 67 texts sent per person per month.

The report also revealed overall internet usage, on both mobile and fixed-line, had quadrupled, from six minutes a day in 2002 to 24 minutes a day in 2007. Mobile broadband, introduced this year, is now used by more than 500,000 people.

Ofcom strategy and market development partner Peter Phillips said: "We are spending more and more time with our communications devices, but spending less on them.

"Our devotion to watching, listening and staying in touch wherever and whenever we want shows no sign of diminishing and, with healthy competition, overall prices offer increasing value for money."