Webometric Thoughts

August 15, 2008

OfCom: The Communication Market 2008

Filed under: Office of Communications,SMS,internet use — admin @ 7:51 am

You can’t help but love the annual Communications Market Report from the Office of Coomunications; it provides massive amounts of detail and information on the UK’s communication market. As with last year’s document, it is a rather large document (365 pages), so not for the faint hearted. Luckily, however, the BBC have published a nice summary with the most interesting graphs.

My favourite graph is the “Time Spent Using Communications Services”, it’s interesting to see how your own usage compares to others:

Personally I was shocked at how low internet usage was…at the moment, due to the Olympic coverage, I tend to be online for a couple of hours before I even get out of bed! Closer inspection of the OfCom document finds that the 24 mins does not include time spent watching streaming media, which partially explains the low number of internet minutes. My personal graph would look some thing like this (for personal/non-work use):

Whilst it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day, the portability of laptops like the Eee PC means that we can always be online. It is a rare occasion when I am watching the TV without the internet, whilst I only really listen to the radio when cooking the dinner. My fixed phone usage is zero due to the phone line still not being connected by Virgin!

I thought that the most surprising finding was the continued rise of SMS use (up 28% on last year). Personally I think it must be close to a peak now; with an increasing number of mobile internet applications becoming available, such as Nokia Chat and other instant messaging services.

August 23, 2007

UK’s Office of Communications Market Report

Filed under: Office of Communications — admin @ 8:25 am

The Office of Communications has just released its annual report on the trends and developments in the UK’s communications market. The trends that hit the headlines are the rise of the web browsing and use of mobile phones, and the falling off of the traditional television, radio and landline, but at 337 pages the report contains a wealth of detailed pieces of information of interest.

So, starting with the healines:
-UK has the most active online population in Europe with users averaging 34.4 hrs online per month, with 56% of users accessing the internet every day.
-Women spend more time online than men, and this time is spent shopping and on social network sites.

Unfortunately it would seem that the although the UK users are online a lot, this is not being reflected in a major web presence amongst the most popular web sites, with only the BBC and runescape.com making the top ten web sites by time spent online. The others were all the usual contenders from the US. The top 10: ebay, bebo, BBC google, myspace, MSN, yahoo, youtube, facebook, runescape. Until I read (skimmed) this report I had never heard of runescape despite all my online hours (I am far closer to 34.4 hours a day that 34.4 hours a month). Its high position has a lot to do with a relative small number of users being online for long periods of time; whereas the BBC has 11.7 million unique visitors in the UK, runescape has 0.7 million.

Whilst the report highlights the rise in the use of ICT, it is also interesting to note that there is by no means universal access to these technologies in the UK. Could I really cope with living in one of the areas in the UK where not only couldn’t I use a 3G phone, but I couldn’t get 2G, or digital tv, or digital radio, or broad band. Whilst a lot of this is likely to be for geographical and population density reasons, it would be interesting to know the effect it is thought to have on the economy within these areas.

Whilst the report is packed with information about the communications sector, it doesn’t yet give details of mobile television usage (which I would have been interested in), although I would expect it appear in next year’s report. Nonetheless well worth a look.

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