Mobile Internet in UK Grows 8X Faster than PC Internet

November 25, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Retail & E-Commerce | Telecom | Youth & Gen X

The number of Britons accessing the mobile internet increased by 25% (from 5.8 to 7.3 million) from Q2 to Q3 2008, compared with only a 3% increase for PC-based Internet users (34.3 to 35.3 million Britons), according to (pdf) insight data from Nielsen Online’s Mobile Media View service.


The research also found that – in addition to faster growth for the mobile internet – the mobile internet audience has a higher concentration of younger users than PC-based Internet. Some 25% of mobile Internet consumers are aged 15-24 compared with 16% for PC-based consumers. Similarly, while 23% of the PC-based Internet population is age 55+. only 12% of the mobile Internet audience is.

Most Popular Sites: Mobile vs. PC-Based


  • While Google Search is the most popular PC-based internet site, on mobile internet BBC News is the most popular, being visited by 24% of British mobile internet users (1.7 million people).


  • Of the most popular mobile sites, BBC Weather (21% mobile, 17% PC-based) Sky Sports (11% mobile, 8% PC-based) and Gmail (9% mobile, 7% PC-based) have greater reach on mobile internet than they do on the PC-based internet
  • Of the most popular mobile sites, Google Search (23% mobile, 79% PC-based) and eBay (13% mobile, 43% PC-based) have the greatest reach differential between mobile and PC-based internet

The fact that the most weather, sports, news and email sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites shows that mobile internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment, as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce-focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites, Nielsen said.

“The first insights from the launch of Mobile Media View confirm two things – that when it comes to the Internet, the huge growth is now happening through the mobile platform and that the mobile online audience is younger than its PC-based counterpart,” said Kent Ferguson, Nielsen senior analyst. “The fact that almost 7.5million Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups.”


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