Mobile Web Use to Triple, says Forrester

The number of Western Europeans using their mobile phone to access the Internet will triple over the next five years, according to a new Forrester Research forecast. By 2014, nearly 40% of consumers will be tapping into the web via their mobile phone. Despite the poor economy, Forrester sees the proliferation of high-speed networks, Internet-enabled mobile phones, and flat-rate data plans driving mobile web adoption.
In the UK, mobile Internet adoption will grow from 17% today to more than 42% by 2014. In Germany, adoption will grow from 12% to nearly 37%; and in France, from 11% now, to 41% by 2014.
The growth of the mobile web is important on two fronts, says Forrester. First, telecom companies facing subscriber saturation are looking for new revenue streams, among which data plans will be a key component. Second, consumer-facing companies ranging from banks to airlines, media firms, CPG firms, and healthcare providers, who have until now been wary of spending too much time and money on a mobile strategy until adoption rates take off, must now fully commit to connecting with their customers via mobile.
In the next decade, the mobile Internet will replicate the success story of the PC-based Internet, says Forrester analyst Thomas Husson. As Europe is one of the most diverse and saturated mobile landscapes in the world, the challenge (for companies) will be to adapt to local conditions to increase the usage of new services.
The report, Western European Mobile Forecast, 2009-2014, forecasts mobile Internet growth for 17 Western European countries. Theres more information about the report here.