The smartphone is now the top device for getting online for most UK residents, rather than the laptop, underlining just how far the mobile revolution has reached into everyday life.
Ofcom’s Communications Market Review 2015 found that 33 percent of people turn to their smartphone as their main device for going on the internet, compared with 30 percent on laptops (shown below).
This is a notable change from 22 percent choosing smartphones and 40 percent laptops in the previous year.
Ofcom said that the research also found that people now spend almost twice as long online using smartphones than laptops and PCs. The average mobile use is almost two hours a day, compared with one hour nine minutes on laptops.
This use of smartphones for getting online seems to be driven by the uptake of 4G services. Ofcom found that popular online activities such as shopping, banking and video calls are more popular over 4G networks than 3G.
For example, 55 percent of 4G users shop online, compared with 35 percent on 3G, while 57 percent watch TV and video clips, compared with 40 percent on 3G.
James Thickett, Ofcom director of research, said it is clear that the smartphone is now the “hub of our daily lives”.
“4G has supercharged our smartphones, helping people do everything from the weekly shop to catching up with friends with a face-to-face video call,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ofcom said that the availability of superfast fixed line fibre broadband services continues to rise, and that England leads the way with 84 percent of premises able to access these speeds.
This compares with 79 percent in Wales, 77 percent in Northern Ireland and 73 percent in Scotland.
Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, explained that quality connectivity is vital to the UK. “Today’s report shows just how important reliable, fast internet access is to millions of consumers and businesses," she said.
"Improving the coverage and quality of all communications services across the UK is a priority for Ofcom, for people at work, home or on the move."
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