The Communications Market Report: Scotland

Mobile internet use grows in Scotland

The use of mobile phones to access the internet has grown faster in Scotland than any other UK nation over the last year.

Some 44% of people in Scotland access the web on their mobile, an increase of 13 percentage points on last year.

Mobile phone users in Scotland also reported greater use of online activities than the UK average for visiting websites (50% compared to 39%), accessing email (45% compared to 37%), and social networking (44% compared to 37%).

This increase has been partly driven by the rise in smartphone ownership in Scotland: up 13 percentage points to 45% of adults, but still below the UK average of 51%.

However, Scotland has the highest satisfaction levels for connecting to the internet via a mobile network (93% compared to UK average of 88%)

Overall, the research shows that Scotland is starting to catch up in the mobile market. A seven percentage point rise in take-up brings mobile ownership to 92% and use of pay-monthly mobiles to 58% - levels comparable with the UK averages.

A quarter of households in Scotland also now own a tablet computer with take-up more than doubling, from 11% to 24%, equal to the UK average.

Home broadband take-up in Scotland increased from 68% in 2012 to 70% in 2013, continuing the upward trend from 2011, though below the UK average (75%).

Broadband customers in Scotland claimed to spend 18.3 hours online per week, higher than Wales and Northern Ireland and the UK average of 16.8 hours per week.

Internet users in Scotland also report higher weekly use than the UK average of instant messaging and chat rooms (37% compared to 27%) and social networking (66% compared to 55%).

Scotland had the greatest number of HD-ready TV homes at 79%, with 52% of adults saying they would miss the TV most out of all media activities, higher than the UK average of 43%.

People in Scotland are significantly more likely to say they are very satisfied with Royal Mail, compared to people across the whole of the UK (64% compared to 37%). Overall, 93% of people in Scotland are satisfied with Royal Mail.

Despite this, adults in Scotland send the fewest items of post (6.1) each month and more than half (57%) agreed they only send post if there is no alternative, with people in Scotland preferring to email companies rather than using post.

Vicki Nash, Director of Ofcom Scotland, said: ‘It is good to see Scotland catching up in our use of communications and media. This applies to the rise in take-up of tablets, mobiles and smartphones, along with growth in the use of mobile internet.

‘Some of the trends reported in last year’s report continue. Broadband take-up for Scotland as a whole has increased not as large an increase as reported last year, but still an upward trend.’

 Download this section

 Download full document

 Annex A: Adults’ media literacy in the nations

The total expenditure by public service broadcasters on first-run originated TV programmes specifically for viewers in Scotland was down 6% from 2011 to 2012 to £52m.

The spend on current affairs by the BBC and STV increased by 6% between 2007 and 2012 against a 27% decline for the UK as a whole. Scotland was the only nation to show an increase over this period.

Scotland has the greatest number of HD-ready TV homes at 79%.

Digital Terrestrial Television (such as Freeview) has overtaken satellite as the most widely-used TV platform in Scotland. Forty-three per cent of all TV households now use the service.

BBC One’s and STV’s early evening news bulletins attracted greater share in Scotland than in the UK; an average 30% share of TV viewing - marginally higher than the UK at 28%

 Download this section

 Download full document

Scotland listens to more music that has been downloaded to mobiles and MP3 players than the UK as a whole (46% compared to 36%).

Radio services reached 86.7% of the adult population in Scotland - the lowest reach of any UK nation - and lower than the UK average of 89.5%.

Local commercial stations are more popular in Scotland than in other nations. In 2012 they accounted for a 38% share of all listening hours in Scotland, higher than in any other UK nation.

Three in ten adults in Scotland have a digital radio set. Ownership of DAB radios is 12 percentage points lower than the UK average (41%) and does not differ across Scotland’s urban or rural areas.

 Download this section

 Download full document

Home broadband take-up in Scotland continues to increase from 68% in 2012 to 70% in 2013 but is still below the UK average (75%).

Three-quarters of households in Scotland (76%) had access to the internet in March 2013. This figure increased six percentage points year on year and is slightly lower than the UK average of 80%.

Around two-thirds of internet users in Scotland say they now shop online, and 70% of these feel secure when making online payments.

 Download this section

 Download full document

Lady on the phone

Up to 120Mbit/s cable broadband services are available to over a third (38%) of premises in Scotland.

16% of Scottish households were mobile-only in at the beginning of 2013.

Just over nine in ten smartphone users (93%) were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their ability to connect to the internet.

Six in ten (60%) households have a bundle of services, an increase of 13 percentage points since 2012, and the greatest increase across the nations.

 Download this section

 Download full document

Adults in Scotland send the fewest items of post each month (6.1 ) compared to the UK average (7.7).

Six in ten adults in Scotland prefer to send emails rather than letters.

Half of adults use First Class all the time, despite the majority (77%) saying they ‘trust Second Class to arrive in a reasonable amount of time’.

The stamp price increases had least impact on purchasing in Scotland; 76% ‘buy the same amount of stamps as before’.

 Download this section

 Download full document