Brits not bored of SMS or MMS, and mobile Internet is taking off: research

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mobile_phone_heart_love.jpgThe Mobile Data Association’s “state of the nation” report into how Brits are using mobile data suggests that — surprise, surprise — we’re not bored of texting or sending picture messaging. Mobile Internet is increasing in popularity, too.

During the whole of 2007, nearly 57 billion text messages were sent, along with half-a-billion picture messages. There were nearly 18 million mobile Internet users; around 23% of all mobile users in the UK.

On New Year’s Eve, 290 million text messages were sent — 30% up on NYE 2006 — while nearly two million video and picture messages were sent.

The MDA believes that the growth in picture messaging will continue to grow. Although they’ve only just started tracking MMS messages, the continued adoption of handsets with built-in cameras should continue its popularity.

It took six years for text messaging to reach the 1 billion per year mark. MMS has today, after only five years and 50% penetration of camera phones, achieved 50% of this target already.

I’d also expect significant ongoing growth in mobile Internet data usage, as handsets become more geared to a decent user experience, and mobile operators continue to push affordable flat-rate data tariffs.

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Andy Merrett