Nearly one smartphone owner in four now surfs the Web

Date: Thu, 03/03/2011 - 20:32

Nearly one smartphone owner in four now surfs the Web

CeBIT 2011 is presenting hardware and applications for LTE, the successor to UMTS

The mobile Internet is becoming a mass-market phenomenon. Twenty-three percent (= 2 million) of Germany smartphone users in the 14 - 64 age range now go online every day in order to surf the Web, access their e-mails and download apps. Thanks to their diverse product offerings, the so-called Application Stores are a driving force behind market expansion. The potential for growth is far from being exhausted. In the coming years the smartphone boom will have a determining impact on the media sector. These are the results of the study "GO SMART 2012: ALWAYS-IN-TOUCH" carried out by the market research company TNS Infratest on behalf of the Otto Group and Google. "Influenced by smartphone use, we will no longer be always on, but always in touch" explains Alastair Bruce, Director Retail at Google Germany. "For businesses, more than ever before, direct access to the user will play a decisive role in terms of content, as well as temporal and spatial proximity."

Mobile commerce is gaining ground: apps are spawning new growth
According to a representative survey carried out by Forsa on behalf of the IT industry association BITKOM, ten million Germans already use mobile phone apps. On average 19 of theses versatile mini programs have been installed on each phone - 25 in the case of male users and 17 in the case of female users. "Apps assist and enrich our everyday lives", emphasizes René Schuster, a member of the BITKOM Presiding Committee. The management consultants Mücke, Sturm & Company (MS&C) forecast that between now and 2013 app sales will grow by 84 percent per year, boosting the annual total to around €700 million.
The volume of data traffic carried by Germany´s mobile phone networks is increasing by leaps and bounds - from 3.5 million gigabytes in 2007 to 33.5 million gigabytes in 2009 (source: Federal Network Agency). In 2009 the TV talent show "Deutschland sucht den Superstar" (RTL) generated 170,000 content downloads via mobile phones and smartphones. In 2010 this same program (now in its seventh season) generated approx. twenty times more downloads. Increasingly, social media sites such as Facebook and Xing are being accessed via mobile devices. One in five users now prefers his or her mobile phone for this purpose.

Germany lags behind in terms of WLAN access
The availability of wireless broadband is likewise increasing. According to BITKOM, more than 15,000 WLAN hotspots are now up and running in Germany. Located in airport buildings, hotels and cafes (for example), these hotspots support wireless Internet access via mobile phones, tablet PCs, notebooks, etc. "The trend is positive, but in international terms Germany lags far behind other countries", reports BITKOM President Prof. Dr. August-Wilhelm Scheer. At present Germany boasts 18 WLAN hotspots per 100,000 inhabitants. This puts Germany in 15th place in the international league table - behind countries such as Portugal and Belgium. Sweden comes top, with 85 WLAN hotspots per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Switzerland (74 hotspots per 100,000 inhabitants).

CeBIT 2011 is presenting the first devices of the upcoming mobile communication standard LTE
Tomorrow´s customers will expect the same levels of performance from their mobile devices as from their PCs and notebooks. For this reason existing mobile phone networks are being upgraded to the HSPA+ standard (High Speed Packet Access Plus), which supports bandwidths in the range 21 to 42 Mbit/s (megabits per second). However, the fourth mobile phone generation - LTE (Long Term Evolution) - is already on the horizon. The prime goal here is to enable faster data transmission in rural areas. Whereas in urban areas ADSL and cable broadband connections already support transmission rates in excess of 50 Mbit/s, many sparsely populated areas are still waiting for fast Internet access. LTE is expected to deliver download rates of up to 100 Mbit/s.
CeBIT 2011 (1 to 5 March) is providing a glimpse of future LTE devices and services. LTE dongles and routers are expected to go on sale in the near future, followed in 2012 by the first 4G smartphones.

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