Ofcom Report Highlights Mobile Fixation

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its third International Communications Market Report into the 876 billion global communications market
The report shows rapid mobile growth in emerging markets, with 216 million new mobile subscriptions in Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2007. China alone had more than 88 million new connections, more than the total number of subscriptions in the UK (74 million). Take-up in Russia increased nearly 1,000 per cent from 12 connections for every 100 people in 2002, to 123 connections per 100 in 2007.
The number of calls made from mobile phones also increased in 2007. People in the Republic of Ireland spent the most time on calls, at 179 minutes per month. People in the Netherlands were next at 176 minutes per month, then people in Sweden at 144 minutes per month. People in the UK spent 136 minutes per month talking on their mobiles in 2007, 23 minutes longer than in 2006.
People also spent less time making fixed-line voice calls in 2007 than in 2006 in every country covered by the report, as people increasingly used mobile phones. In the UK, people spent five minutes less per head making calls on a fixed line in 2007 than in the previous year, but 23 minutes longer making mobile calls.
People in the Republic of Ireland also send the most texts, with 154 messages each month, almost double the UK figure of 81 texts per month. People in Poland send more texts than their US counterparts -108 and 107 texts every month, respectively. These two countries saw the highest growth in text messaging. People in the US now send 140% more texts than they did five years ago and people in Poland sent 90% more in 2007 than in 2006.
Mobile broadband has boomed over the past 12 months, with an estimated 60 million subscribers worldwide who were able to access the service via a dongle or a mobile phone by the end of October 2008. (When Ofcom talks about mobile broadband it includes web access on a PC via dongles but also, web and mobile web access via mobile handsets.)
In the UK, monthly mobile dongle sales reached 163,000 in July 2008. The total number of dongles in use in Sweden increased from 92,000 to 376,000 during 2007. Mobile social networking has also started to take off 800,000 mobile subscribers in the UK and 4 million in the US access social networking sites using their mobile devices.
Increasingly, the report finds, people are relying on their mobile phone as their main device to make telephone calls. Italy has the highest number of mobile-only households at nearly 40%. Around a third of all households in Poland are mobile-only, followed by a quarter of all Spanish households and a fifth of all homes in the Republic of Ireland.
Japan has the highest number of 3G phones, with 83% of mobile users in the country having a 3G connection in 2007, compared to just 13% in 2004. Italy is second with 27%, followed by the Republic of Ireland at 26%, with the UK at 17%. Canada has the lowest take-up of 3G mobiles of the countries covered by the report, at just 1% of connections.
Average broadband take-up was 56% of households in 2007, compared with 12% nt in 2002. The UK is above average, with 60% of households connected. The Netherlands leads the way with 81% of households, followed by Canada (66%), Sweden (62%) and the US (61%). There are also signs that growth rates in the broadband sector are slowing. Among the countries covered by the report, only the USA and Germany saw a higher growth rate in 2007 than in 2006.
You can read the full report here.