The Communications Market 2011 (August)

This is Ofcom’s eighth annual Communications Market report. This supports Ofcom’s regulatory goal to research markets and to remain at the forefront of technological understanding.

includes Nations & Regions and International (December) reports

Nearly 10 million TV sets were sold in 2010, almost all of which were HD ready

Viewers currently watch just over 4 hours a day, up by approximately 18 minutes over ten years

There were nearly 1 million internet-enabled TV sales during 2010, and 125,000 sales of TVs with 3D capabilities

Almost half (46 per cent) of households now have a digital video recorder (DVR)


Some 91.6 per cent of the adults listened to the radio in the first quarter of 2011, up by 1 percentage point on 2010

One in five (18 per cent) households use the internet to listen to the radio

Average radio listening hours fell from 3 hours and 24 minutes per day in 2000 to 3 hours and 12 minutes per day in 2010

UK radio industry income totalled £1.1 billion in 2010, up by 2.8 per cent in a year


Over a quarter of adults (27 per cent) and almost half of teenagers (47 per cent) now own a smartphone

Nearly half (49 per cent) of mobile subscriptions were contract in 2010, compared to 41 per cent a year previously

An average of five text messages per day were sent for every person in the UK in 2010

Some 28 per cent of UK adults people use their mobile phones for internet access


Total UK broadband take-up has now reached 74 per cent

Eighty per cent of people with superfast broadband say they are satisfied with the service

Nearly half of UK adults said they used social networking sites in the first three months of 2011

Internet advertising spend grew by 16 per cent in 2010 to over £4 billion


Media Literacy


A nation addicted to smartphones

New Ofcom research reveals the extent to which the UK has become addicted to smartphones, with people confessing to using them everywhere from the dining table to the bathroom and bedroom. Over a quarter of adults (27 per cent) and almost half of teenagers (47 per cent) now own a smartphone, according to Ofcoms latest Communications Market Report. Most (59 per cent) have acquired their smartphone over the past year and users make significantly more calls and send more texts than regular mobile users (81 per cent of smartphone users make calls every day compared with 53 per cent of regular users). Teenagers especially are ditching more traditional activities in favour of their smartphone, with 23 per cent claiming to watch less TV and 15 per cent admitting they read fewer books. And when asked about the use of these devices, 37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teens admit they are highly addicted.


Scotland tunes into digital TV but lags on broadband

Scotland's broadband take-up is lagging behind the rest of the UK although the picture for broadcasting production and digital TV is more promising.

 Broadband take-up remained flat year on year at 61 per cent of homes - 13 percentage points lower than the UK average - and means that Scotland continues to have the lowest broadband take-up of all the UK nations.

Take-up is particularly low in Greater Glasgow (50 per cent), amongst those aged 55+ (34 per cent), by DE social groups (30 per cent), and in households with incomes less than 17.5k per annum (26 per cent).

Scotland is also the only UK nation to experience a decrease in satisfaction with broadband speeds (73 per cent in 2010 compared with 83 per cent in 2009).

However, not all the broadband findings are negative: broadband uptake in Scotland compares well against the UK average among 35-54 year olds (85 per cent compared to the UK average of 83 per cent).


More consumers in Wales benefit from broadband

There has been a sharp increase in the broadband take-up in Wales during the past twelve months.

The 7 per cent rise to 71 per cent has narrowed the gap between broadband take-up in Wales and the UK as a whole (74 per cent).

Broadband penetration is higher in urban areas (72 per cent, up 10 percentage points on 2009) than it is in rural areas (67 per cent) while mobile broadband has remained static at 16 per cent.

Social networking sites are now used by almost half (48 per cent) of adults in Wales - the fastest increase across all of the UK nations - with Wales now level with the UK average.


Northern Ireland embraces latest technology

Consumers in Northern Ireland are among the most enthusiastic consumers of communications technology in the UK.

Some 92 per cent use a mobile phone, of which almost a quarter have a smartphone (23 per cent).

Northern Ireland also leads the way across the UK for sending text messages (93 per cent), taking photos with a mobile (71 per cent), sending photo messages (64 per cent) and playing games on their phone (31 per cent).

How the internet is used in Northern Ireland is also changing. For example, use of social networking has doubled since 2008, with 47 per cent now using these sites regularly (compared to 22 per cent in 2008).


Take -up of digital television services in homes in England now stands at 96 per cent


More UK consumers use their mobile phones to access the internet