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91% of Britons own a mobile phone

UK quick to adopt new communication technologies

The UK is among the nations most likely to adopt new communication technologies, says Ofcom.

The regulator's International Communications Market report revealed 84 percent of British homes have a landline, beaten only by Germany where 85 percent of residents have a landline. More than nine in 10 of Brits have a mobile phone, topped only by Italy, where 95 percent own a handset.

Furthermore, the UK is the nation with the second largest uptake of fixed broadband. More than two thirds (70 percent) of UK homes have a fixed net connection. The Netherlands comes out top with 85 percent.

However, Ofcom said the UK is lagging behind in the uptake of Voice over IP (VoIP) services. Only 5 percent of UK homes have access to the service compared to more than a quarter (26 percent) in France and two in five (20 percent) in the Netherlands.

The regulator said VoIP services tend to be more popular in countries where there is high demand for international calls or where broadband is available to consumers without the need for a landline services (also known as naked DSL).

Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) Brits say they use a laptop to access the web when at home and 60 percent of 18 to 24-year olds use a device other than a desktop PC to surf the net.

Nearly a third (29 percent) of Brits use their mobile phone to access the web, beaten only by Japan where 43 percent go online using their handset. 14 percent of Brits also use a games console to access the web.

The number of Brits with smartphones rose by 70 percent between January 2009 and January 2010, meaning 18 percent of the UK owns a smartphone and 90 percent download apps for their device. Ofcom also revealed the UK sends an average of 140 text messages per person per month. Furthermore, mobile prices in the UK fell by 10 percent in the UK between July 2009 and July 2010.

More than nine in ten Brits have digital TV and 50 percent of UK consumers have an HD-ready TV. However just 13 percent of Brits actually watch HD channels. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of Brits claim to watch TV on the net every week and 45 percent admit to having watched TV on the web at some point.

Ofcom also said that thanks to bundles (purchasing TV, broadband and landlines from the same company) prices in the UK compare favourably with those in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the US.

See also: Ofcom looks to bring broadband to rural areas


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