It reports that over 800,000 people in Ireland have accessed the Internet on mobile phones and there are now more than 300,000 mobile broadband subscriptions.
The mobile Internet trend is particularly marked among younger age groups. Some 43% of mobile Net traffic is going to the social networking sites Bebo and Facebook, followed by Google, YouTube and RTÉ, according to one network operator.
State of the Net reports on the demographic trends among mobile Internet users and that:
- 24% of males use it
- 25% of ABC1s
- 39% of 15 to 25-year-olds
- 44% of students
And the lessons for businesses? First is that mobile Internet sites are becoming much more important. Several leading Irish publishers have already launched mobile versions of their main websites and we will increasingly see the “m.” prefix alongside the now-traditional “www.” before a site name.
Mobile Internet opens up a distinctive channel for marketing and communications. Messages can be tailored to a user’s location and can reach those who do not have PCs (see Technology Personas below) or happen not to be in front of them.
“This is a game-changing development,” says AMAS director Fiachra Ó Marcaigh. “Not just for advertising, but for digital content, customer service, education and many other applications, widely used mobile Internet promises both opportunities for new business and disruption to traditional models.”
State of the Net tracks key Internet trends and is produced by AMAS in association with the Irish Internet Association and. The Autumn 2009 edition of State of the Net also reports on:
- eReadiness – Ireland has been placed 18th among 70 countries rated for eReadiness by the Economist Intelligence Unit. eReadiness analyses the quality of a country’s information and communications technology and the use way in which it is used
- Broadband – At 20.2%, Ireland still lags the EU 27 average (22.9%) for broadband penetration. The gap is even more marked between Ireland and top performers like Denmark and the Netherlands, where penetration is heading for 40%
- Technology Personas – If Ireland was 100 people, then 70 of them could be characterised as “Tech Savvy” or “Tech Enthusiasts”. However, 24 would be “Mobile Converts” who use mobile phones more than other technology and six would be “Tech Rejecters” with very low levels of internet usage
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