|UK consumers are some of the earliest adopters of new communications technologies, new Ofcom research reveals.
They are among the best connected for broadband, mobile and digital TV and the UK has seen the fastest growth in smartphone take-up. UK consumers are also enjoying lower prices for communications services than many consumers across the world.
Ofcom’s fifth International Communications Market report into the global communications market looks at take-up, availability and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV and radio in 17 countries.
Take-up of communications services across the world is continuing at a rapid pace, despite the global recession. Ofcom’s consumer research reveals that across the six countries it surveyed, expenditure on communications services remains resilient with people less likely to cut down on communications services, and in particular broadband (6-7 per cent), than they are on other areas such as nights out (39-56 per cent) or holidays (29-51 per cent).
UK households have comparatively high levels of take-up of communications services, with among the highest take-up of landlines, fixed broadband connections, mobile connections and digital TV at the end of 2009.
Germany has the highest landline take-up with 85 per cent of the population having a landline (84 per cent in the UK). Italy has the highest mobile take-up with 95 per cent of the population owning a mobile phone (91 per cent in the UK), and the Netherlands has the highest fixed broadband take-up (85 connections per 100 households, 70 in UK).
However the UK is behind other countries in take-up of VoIP services with only five subscribers for every 100 people, compared with 26 in France and 20 in the Netherlands. Although the UK did see an average 27 per cent annual increase in VoIP subscribers between 2006 and 2009. VoIP services tend to be more popular in countries where there is high demand for international calls or where broadband is available to consumers without the need for a landline services (also known as naked DSL).