Study Looks at Irish Mobile Usage

Irish mobile marketing agency Return2Sender has released the results of research into the mobile behaviour of Irish consumers. The research was conducted by Lansdowne Research, who quizzed 1,000 Irish consumers on their attitudes toward mobile marketing, advertising and next-generation services such as the mobile Internet.
The study asked mobile phone users whether they would be more or less likely to respond to an ad by using a text number or visiting a website. Over a third of respondents said they would respond using text. Marginally more under-35s would respond using text when compared with their older counterparts, and there is little difference across social classes.
In order to establish current usage of mobile Internet services, the study asked respondents if they had ever accessed the Internet using their handsets. One in five confirmed that they had. Return2Sender says it expects to see considerable growth in this area through the second half of 2008 and going into 2009. Of those who do access the Internet via their mobile phone, proportionately more are female than male, and the majority are under the age of 35.
The reasons for using the mobile web vary by age. While younger mobile Internet users are interested primarily in downloading ringtones, browsing and music, the over- 35s are more motivated by information services such as news and directions. 
As would be expected, male-oriented services include sports and news-related content. It is, however, significant, the company says, that larger numbers of females are using key services such as downloading ringtones and music.
77% of those surveyed said that they have never accessed the Internet using their mobile phone. Lack of interest and perceived need, along with high data costs, were seen as the key barriers to usage. Slow service, connection problems and lack of time, were not identified as barriers to mobile Internet use.
Return2Sender says the research identifies a clear gap in the market for content owners and producers to engage the mobile audience by creating new services, and also a clear responsibility on network operators to introduce and publicise flat-rate data plans, and to offer more compelling content to engage mobile consumers.
Just under 60% of respondents claim to have sent or received a picture/multimedia message. Of these, 10% say that they send a multimedia message every day, with a further 10% sending one every week.