Brits are early adopters of technology

Darren Allan

December 2, 2010

A new study from Ofcom has indicated that UK citizens are keen early adopters of new communications technology.

Ofcom’s fifth International Communications Market report has examined the comms market in 17 different countries. It found that UK consumers were among the best connected for broadband, mobile and digital TV. The country has also seen the fastest growth in smartphone users.

84% of the UK’s population has a landline (just behind Germany on 85%). 91% of Brits own a mobile (Italy is the highest here on 95%), and 70% of UK households have broadband (the Netherlands was top on 85%).

The only area where the UK really lags behind is in terms of VoIP take-up, with just 5% of the population, compared to 26% in France and 20% in the Netherlands.

Adoption of communications services across the world continues to build at a rapid pace despite economic woes. Only 6 to 7% of consumers said they had taken cost cutting measures with their broadband package, with budgets more likely to be slashed on activities such as nights out (39 to 56%) and holidays (29 to 51%).

When it comes to smartphones, the UK has witnessed an impressive explosion recently, with a 70% rise in owner numbers from January 2009 to January 2010. Brits are also more likely to use their mobiles for social networking than other nationalities, with 24% into mobile socialising, compared to 13% in Germany.

The UK also led in the television stakes, top of the tree when it came to digital TV take-up along with Spain at a figure of 91%. Britain is also first when it comes to the adoption of HDTVs, with 59% of households now having a High Definition set (just beating out the States on 57%).

In terms of online shopping, the UK also proved itself a leader. Over the last six months, on average Brits made 19 online purchases to the value of £1,031. That’s almost double the amount of second placed Germany, who spent £595 on average (over 9 purchases).


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