Mobile net has few takers in the US

MUMBAI: Only five per cent of US broadband users (approximately five million) use the mobile Internet, according to a report by Media-Screen.

Although more than 60 per cent of users currently own an internet-enabled mobile device, they are reluctant to partake in online mobile activities due to extra fees and difficulties establishing and maintaining Internet connections.


The report also reveals a significant gap between accessing the internet on mobile devices and computers when comparing the number of online activities performed through each. Users perform an average of 3.3 online activities on their mobile device versus 13.4 activities on their laptop/desktop, reinforcing the fact that online activities have yet to migrate into the pockets of broadband users.

Media-Screen’s director of research services Jean Durall says, “Broadband users represent an important audience to track as they have historically driven innovation of online applications by being the first to adopt and embrace new services on the Internet”.

“Although the mobile internet is still in its infancy due to technological and pricing hurdles, understanding this group of influential consumers will help carriers, content providers and marketers develop new offerings."


Among broadband users, the most popular mobile activities are communications-related --similar to the drivers during the early days of the Internet. And, even though mobile is touted as the “third screen”, less than one in five users access news or television shows from a mobile device; however this is likely to grow when pricing and packaging issues are improved.

The top mobile internet activities are sending email 47 per cent, Playing games 27 per cent, Read the news 16 per cent, Watch TV programmes 13 per cent. Furthermore, the marketing and advertising messages surrounding the mobile Internet do not resonate with most users. Over 50 per cent of respondents say that the mobile internet access does not “fit with their lifestyle.”

Durall adds, “The persistent media portrayal of mobile Internet users as either carefree youth or hard-driving professionals may be reinforcing perceived lifestyle differences, unintentionally delaying broader consumer adoption.

“Providers and manufacturers must reevaluate their marketing messages to make sure the benefits of mobile access are directed beyond the ‘Road Warriors’ and ‘MySpacers’ of the world.”


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