Usage Up, Spending Down as Brits Embrace Communications Services

15 August 2008

LONDON: According to UK communications regulator Ofcom, the average Briton last year spent 7 hours and 9 minutes daily watching TV, on the phone, surfing the internet or using other similar services.

Since 2002, cellphone use has doubled and PC and laptop use quadrupled, reports the watchdog's annual review. But average monthly spend-per-household on communications in 2007 was down 7.8% year-on-year to £93.63 ($174.90; €117.43)from £95.16.

During 2007, the average adult spent 24 minutes daily on their computer and ten minutes on their mobile. 

And despite the continued expansion of the UK's communications networks, monthly spend via these channels has fallen for three consecutive years.

Key facts from the Ofcom report include:

  • Communications industry revenue topped £51.2bn in 2007.
  • 87.2% of households have digital TV.
  • 80% of new TV sales are high-definition sets.
  • 40% buy communications services in a bundled package.
  • 44% of adults use text messaging every day.
  • 36% of adults use the internet every day.
  • 58% of homes had broadband, compared with 52% a year earlier.

    Source: Ofcom market review

The most spectacular growth area, however, is mobile broadband, driven by low-cost wireless 'dongles' – a gizmo that plugs into a laptop's USB port and connects via 3G to the internet.

Between February and June this year, monthly sales of these devices rose from 69,000 monthly to 133,000.

Data sourced from BBC Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff