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Mobile Internet access grows as operators push flat rate offerings
|24 июля 2009|
Mobile Internet usage is becoming mainstream in Europe, according to a report published Thursday by Forrester Research.
Today 13% of Western European consumers now access the Internet on their mobile device and 50% know they can use their mobile phone to access the Internet, according to a survey of over 20,0000 European consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.
The growth in mobile broadband usage has led Nokia Siemens Networks to predict that the volume of data traffic will exceed that of voice traffic on mobile networks worldwide by 2011.
Nokia Siemens Networks said it expects mobile data traffic to double from almost 400 million gigabytes in 2009 to approximately 2 billion gigabytes a year by 2011, compared to 1.2 billion gigabytes for voice.
Forrester suggested that mobile broadband is on the brink of large scale growth, by drawing an analogy between current European levels of mobile Internet usage and that of fixed Internet access in 1999, when only 17% of Western Europeans were online.
Several factors are driving mobile internet access from the widening availability of high and mid-range large-screen phones to the roll out of HSDPA networks, said Forrester.
According to the analyst firm 125 of the 267 HSDPA networks worldwide are in Europe, and on average offer maximum downlink speeds of between 3.5 Mbps and 7 Mbps.
In addition operators have moved to a more open Internet model, said Forrester, which highlighted Vodafone's Betavine open API initiative and O2's Litmus application store.
Indeed, over the last eighteen months Europe's mobile operators have deployed a number of other strategies to encourage mobile broadband use, ranging from iPhone promotions to selling mobile-enabled ASUS laptops.
Telekom Austria on Wednesday launched a two-month promotion to offer HP's ProBook 4515 laptop "free" with a fixed and mobile broadband package priced from €29.90 a month.
The contract provides maximum fixed-line downlink speeds of 8 Mbps and mobile outdoor speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps.
Telekom Austria's offer reflects a reality that Internet usage with a mobile device still differs greatly from that of fixed-line PCs.
Only 6% of those surveyed by Forrester use a mobile device to send or receive email once a month or more, while 19% listened to music at least once a month.
Meanwhile 39% take pictures, 15% send MMS messages, and 65% send text messages at least once a month.
What's more, Forrester also cited a survey that found 44% of Europeans are only interested in using their mobile devices to make calls and send SMS messages.
Источник: Total Telecom