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The UK's first mobile call celebrates its 18th birthday

Nearly two decades on and we're still hooked

Celebrating the 18th birthday of the first UK mobile call, researchers at Mori have released a study, commissioned by Vodafone, into today's mobile use, which revealed 67 percent of people have grown so attached to their mobile phones that they simply couldn't live without them.

Unlike other technologies mobile phone use is pervasive — a fact which, among other reasons, is due to its affordability and ease of use. The biggest ownership sector (23 percent) falls into the 25-34 age group, but the elderly community is also catching on with about 10 percent regularly using a handset.

What cannot be ignored is the sheer freedom mobile phones have offered people- the ability to stay in touch wherever we are. Over half (51 percent) of respondents use their phone to organise their social lives and 21 percent saw it as an entertainment device to pass time while travelling.

The most popular uses were:
Text messaging — 65 percent
Storing phone numbers on handset — 64 percent
Alarm clock — 34 percent
Playing games — 18 percent

One interesting discovery made by the survey was that almost half of owners personalised their handsets in some way, either by adding new ring tones (42 percent), downloading screensavers (45 percent) or attaching clip-on covers (40 percent).

"[Mobiles] have liberated our social and business lives, started and ended relationships and allowed us to keep in touch with our friends and family. We have come a long way in the last 18 years and the future looks rosy too. With the next generation of technology, future services are likely to include video over mobile phones, which sounds impressive now but will soon become as commonplace as the humble text message," concluded the report.

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