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Telecoms and networks

Two fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone, with the same proportion saying their phone is the most important device for accessing the internet.

Two fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone, with the same proportion saying their phone is the most important device for accessing the internet.

The average Briton now sends 50 texts per week

The average cost of making a mobile voice call fell to broadly the same level as a fixed line call in 2011.

For the first time, over half (52%) of all call volumes were made from a mobile phone.

The total number of fixed broadband connections passed 20 million for the first time in 2011, with over 5 million mobile broadband connections.

Total UK telecoms revenues fell by 1.9% in 2011 to 39.7bn, driven by a fall in wholesale revenues.

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Household fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband availability in Scotland was the lowest among the UK nations in March 2012, at 10%. This was 21 percentage points lower than the UK average (31%).

Forty-two per cent of homes in Scotland had superfast broadband services available to them by March 2012. This was the second lowest proportion across the UK nations after Wales (34%).

Some 68% of Scottish premises have mobile coverage from every 3G operator, higher than both Wales (52.4%) and Northern Ireland (55.9%) but lower than the UK average.

Over one-quarter (28%) of the geographical area of Scotland has no 2G mobile coverage from any operator, which is the highest of the four nations.

However, by premises, 99.2% of Scottish homes are served by at least one 2G operator.

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In March 2012 Wales had the lowest household availability of superfast broadband services (34%) across the UK nations.

This was because household cable broadband availability (23%) was the lowest among the UK nations and fibre-to-the-cabinet availability (17%) was the second lowest after Scotland.

In the first three months of 2012, 39% of adults in Wales said that they accessed the internet using a mobile handset - 14 percentage points higher than a year previously and in line with the UK average.

Smartphone take-up increased by 13 percentage points to 39% of mobile users over the same period

In the first three months of 2012, 20% of homes in Wales were mobile-only, five percentage points higher than the UK average of 15%.

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Some 93% use a mobile phone, of which 34% own a smartphone.

Nineteen per cent of homes in Northern Ireland are mobile-only, slghtly higher than the UK average of 15%.

Over one third (35%) of adults are also accessing the internet with their mobile phones.

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 Annex B: Financial impact of inadvertent roaming in Northern Ireland: methodology

The UK consumed the most mobile data per connection. 424MB of data was downloaded per mobile connection in 2011: more than in any of the other comparator countries.

The UK is one of the leaders in text messaging among our comparator countries. The average person sent 199 SMS messages per month in 2011, up 17% compared with 2010. Young women are leading the increase, which is fuelled by consumers apparently switching from voice to SMS for convenience and ease.

Fixed voice revenues fell in all our comparator countries in 2011. Across all 17 comparator countries, fixed voice revenues fell by an average of 7.3% in 2011, a slight increase on the 7.1% average in 2010. Fixed voice revenues fell by 5.2% in the UK during the year, a higher rate that the 3.3% average in the five years to 2011.

Fixed voice call volumes fell in all of the comparator countries for which figures were available in 2011, except France. Growth in the fixed voice market in France was largely a result of high take-up of managed VoIP services. In the UK, fixed voice call volumes fell by 10.0% in 2011, the fourth largest decline among our comparator countries.

Five per cent of UK broadband connections were superfast at the end of 2011. The proportion of connections classed as being superfast (i.e. with a headline speed of 30Mbit/s or more) ranged from 0% (to the nearest percentage point) in Ireland to 22% in the Netherlands at the end of 2011. Poland and the UK had the lowest fixed broadband revenue per person in 2011.

Mobile voice call volumes fell by 1.1% in the UK between 2010 and 2011; from 125 million minutes to 124 million; the first annual fall. Japan was the only other country to witness a decline in 2011, with mobile voice volumes falling from 147 million minutes to 145 million.

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Northern Ireland

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