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Smartphone net access rockets

Brits take to mobile internet like never before

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Almost half of the UK's internet users - 45 per cent of them - accessed the net using a mobile phone in the past 12 months, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said today.

That's 6m more people than this time last year, the ONS added.

Oldies are less likely to do so than youngsters, of course. Only eight per cent of folk aged 65 or more used a phone for internet access, compared to 71 per cent of 16-24 years olds.

The latter figure market a major increase from the 44 per cent recorded by the ONS in 2010. So it won't be long before they're all doing so.

Ditto 25-34 year old internet users, the proportion of mobile phone access of whom is 65 per cent. The figure falls as you move up each age band: 35-44, 49 per cent; 45-54, 33 per cent; and 55-64, 21 per cent.

Only 13 per cent of internet users connected through a Wi-Fi hotspot, but that still represents a doubling of the user base in a year, with 4.9m users access the net that way the the last 12 months.

That marks a big increase on the 13 per cent year-on-year growth rate reported in last year's ONS survey.

In 2011, 19m households in Great Britain had an internet connection. This represented 77 per cent of households, up from 73 per cent in 2010.

That leaves 5.7m UK households without an internet connection. More than half of the folk in that group said they don't feel they need one.

Broadband has now almost entirely replaced dial-up, with 93 per cent of Internet connected households using broadband, up from 84 per cent in 2007.

Five per cent use a mobile broadband link, and the remaining two per cent of connected households used dial-up in the past 12 months. ®

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