Ofcom's sixth Communications Market Report into the £52 billion TV, radio, broadband, telecoms and mobile industries has found that Britons are more willing to cut back on holidays and meals out than on spending on communication technology during the recession.
When the 862 people surveyed where asked which items they were likely to cut back on, 47 per cent said they would choose to cut back on going out for dinner, 41 per cent on DIY and 41 per cent on holidays. This compares with only a fifth (19 per cent) who would cut back on mobile phone spend, 16 per cent on TV subscriptions and 10 per cent on their broadband services. To view the full report please click here for a PDF version or a detailed summary. For a breakdown of the report in a particular region in England, click here.
Some general findings from the report found:
• 50% of internet users use Facebook
• There were 2.6m Twitter users in May 2009
• Men are more likely to watch catch-up TV
• Leeds has the highest take-up rate for mobile broadband (29%)
• Mobile broadband take up was lowest in the Scottish Borders (3%)
In relation to telecoms, 7 key themes have become apparent in the report:
• A decade of change: the shift towards mobile and data services. The transformation of the telecoms market over the last ten years as mobile phone and internet services have become mass-market.
• The growth of local loop unbundling is reshaping the internet service provider market. With the cost structures associated with providing LLU-based services determining that 'bigger is better', the broadband market has been transformed since the introduction of LLU, both in terms of market size and the subscriber shares of the larger players.
• Super-fast broadband becomes a reality. The emergence of the UK's first super-fast broadband services, which are now being implemented after much anticipation, and consider how these services might impact the ISP market.
• The maturity of mobile broadband. Around three million people in the UK now access broadband services provided over a cellular network via USB modems (or 'dongles'). The relationship between mobile and fixed broadband services has matured.
• Smartphones and applications drive more sophisticated use of 'mobile internet'. The rise of the ‘mobile app’ and advances in mobile handset technology is affecting the way in which we use our mobile phones to access online services.
• SIM-only contracts central to new focus on low-cost tariffs. The changes in operator strategy and consumer behaviour have resulted in a growth in the share of pay-monthly contracts, driven primarily by the take-up of sub-£20-a-month tariffs.
• New MVNOs gain market share. The market conditions that have seen a raft of virtual network operators and service providers launch in the last couple of years and win market share
Figures regarding the use of mobiles and broadband have also been released:
Mobile phone facts and figures
- Almost 77 million mobile subscriptions - up 3 million on the year
- Nearly 30 million mobile phone contracts - up more than 3 million
- Pay as you go connections down by 100,000 to just under 47 million
- Over 80 billion texts sent last year - an average of 100 texts per person, per month
- More than 100 billion minutes of calls - equivalent of 123 minutes, per mobile, per month
Broadband facts and figures
- 17% growth in the number of UK homes with broadband.
- 19 million (50 per cent) of internet users now visit Facebook
- 29% of homes in Leeds have mobile broadband - the highest in the UK
- 22% of homes in the Highlands and Islands have mobile broadband
- 21% of internet users had used VoiP in 2008