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UK Mobile Web Use Still Leads U.S. Market

Telephia and comScore announced the results of their latest study of mobile vs. PC-based Internet usage. The study reveals that 5.7 million people in the U.K. used a mobile device to access the Web during January 2007 compared to the 30 million people age 15 or older who accessed the Web from a PC ( either at home or at work).

At 19 percent of the PC-based Internet audience, the U.K. Mobile Web market is slightly more developed on a relative basis than the U.S. Mobile Web market, where 30 million (or 17 percent) of the 176 million U.S. PC Web users accessed the Web from a mobile device during the same month.

The Telephia and comScore research, MobileWeb Metrix, reveals that U.K. Mobile Web users under 35 years of age account for 67 percent of the entire Mobile Web audience in the U.K., whereas the same age segment accounts for 39 percent of the PC-based Internet audience.

Research findings in the U.S. show that those under 35 account for 46 percent of the Mobile Web audience and 36.5 percent of the PC-based Internet audience. Gender is also an influencing factor. The study reveals that 63 percent of Mobile Web users in the U.K. are male, compared to 54 percent of PC Internet users. In the U.S., 60 percent of Mobile Web users are male versus 49 percent of PC Internet users.

"Similar to the Internet 10-15 years ago, men under the age of 35 are the early adopters of new technology and more likely to use mobile devices to access the Mobile Web than women or men aged over 35," commented Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

"The Mobile Web is at an early state of development, but we expect Mobile Web usage to grow as phone performance improves, sites optimize their content for the small screen and operators fine tune their tariffs, enabling consumers to take full advantage of mobile phone capabilities, content and convenience," Ivins continued.

comScore and Telephia also revealed the leading sites on the Mobile Web in both the U.K. and the U.S., ranked by unique visitors. Popular PC Internet sites Yahoo!, MSN and Google all featured in the ranking of leading sites on both sides of the Atlantic.

BBC and SKY were the leading sites for U.K. Mobile Web users in January, attracting 2.3 million and 1.2 million unique visitors, respectively. The Weather Channel and AOL represented additional leading sites among U.S. Mobile Web users in January, with 6.6 million and 6.0 million unique visitors, respectively.

The Weather Channel in the U.S. has a greater reach via the Mobile Web than it does via PC-based Internet, highlighting how the success of sites that provide content for people on the move by optimizing their content for the small screen.

"The advantage that weather, sports and news sites have over other Mobile Web sites is that they provide up-to-date information that consumers need quickly, anytime and anywhere," said Kanishka Agarwal, Vice President Mobile Media at Telephia. "As a result, they are being forced to become user-friendly during the early stages of the Mobile Web, or face the risk that competitors could steal a march on them."

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