Cost and ease of use have been the key drivers here, with 2007 seeing a move towards flat-rate mobile internet access rates from the likes of T-Mobile with its Web’n’Walk service vying for prominence similar deals from the likes of Vodafone.
Mobile Data Association chairman Mike Short said, “New devices, competitive data tariffs and wider content choice mean it has never been easier for users to send an email, take a picture or access internet content".
Short is confident that internet access and data-based services will continue their upward trend in 2008.
"The mobile industry remains one of the fastest-growing sectors throughout the world. Whether you look at Asia, India, Europe or the UK, the story is the same; mobile technology is enhancing and even shaping the way we live our daily lives,” said Short.
As well as cheaper data tariffs, consumers have come to expect more capable handsets, often with multiple ways of getting online. Smartphones from the likes of RIM, Nokia and Apple with the BlackBerry, Nokia N95 and Apple iPhone, respectively, have each carved out significant and separate market segments using GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi.
Multimedia features such as multigigabyte music, photo and video storage and playback, in tandem with successful music and online video services from the likes of Sony Ericsson and YouTube have also helped extend the way consumers use their phones.
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