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UK net usage patterns are something of an anomaly among our European cousins.

While our continental friends are reluctant to fork out for products online, the UK has taken to online shopping rather better. Around 32 per cent of households now shop online in the UK - seven per cent higher than in the mainland, according to Phil Dwyers, managing director of market researchers Jupiter MMXI.

This is much more like the figures we see from the US, he said.

The UK also has the largest proportion of women online in Europe, and a correspondingly large juvenile population. The 2-17 age group accounts for 21.2 per cent of the net heads in the UK, compared to 12 per cent in Germany and a slightly higher 17 per cent in France.

However, unlike the US our use of PDAs and other net appliances will not be significant in the next two or three years.

The PC will remain the dominant platform until at least 2003, Dwyer predicted. Wireless access will generate revenue of E2 billion, digital TV of around E5 billion and the PC a massive E41 billion. ®

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