Mobile web access on the up

'No longer a novelty'

More and more people are using their mobile phones to access the wibbly wobbly web, according to research from Ipsos.

Its latest Face of the Web report, an annual snapshot of the latest internet trends, found that 28 per cent of mobile phone owners around the world access the net on a wireless handset, up a bit from the 25 per cent reported at the end 2004.

Analysts reckon that part of this increase is due to mobile web access becoming more mainstream and no longer the preserve of early adopters.

Said Ipsos bigwig Brian Cruikshank: "Accessing the internet on a wireless handheld device is no longer a novelty for consumers in the major global economies. It's becoming a common, everyday occurrence for many people."

The UK and France were singled out as seeing a sharp rise in the use of mobile web access while Japan also continues to grow rapidly. In the US and Canada, where users seem to favour wireless net access via a notebook PC, growth is flattening out.

Of course, it goes without saying that most people access the net using a personal computer and this remains head and shoulders above other web access methods. However, Ipsos reckons that when it comes to being away from your PC, mobiles will have the edge over other gadgets.

"In the long term, many of today's PC-centric online activities could be complemented through the mobile phone or migrate to the mobile phone altogether, due to greater convenience and faster connection speeds," said Cruikshank. ®

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