4G uptake has become more widespread in the UK as more service providers have begun offering the service. And as mobile users switch to 4G, the faster network speed is encouraging them to spend a significant amount of time on the mobile internet.
In a May 2013 poll of UK 4G mobile users, mobile network EE found that about three-quarters of respondents spent less than an hour per day on public Wi-Fi, suggesting that public hotspots are useful in small doses. For 4G usage, the greatest percentage of respondents, 42%, spent between 1 and 3 hours on 4G networks. Another 27% spent 3 hours or more per day accessing via 4G.
Work and home broadband connections were still a significant point of extended connectivity, however. Nearly four out of 10 respondents said they used work broadband for more than 5 hours per day, presumably when they are seated at their jobs and using the internet for work—and distraction—purposes. And 35% of users also spent 5 hours or more going online via home broadband. While 4G may be allowing users faster connectivity and encouraging time spent on the mobile web, it is by no means taking the place of fixed connections just yet.
As for how the relatively new service is breaking down in terms of demographic adoption, men—the typical early adopters—lead. A July EE survey found that nearly three out of five UK 4G mobile users were men, compared to 42% who were women.
Among the age groups, 25- to 34-year-olds led adoption, accounting for 31% of 4G mobile users in the country. Those in the 35-to-44 age group came next, with a 23% share.
4G adoption is likely to spread quickly across demographics, though, as more companies introduce the service, and as new 4G-enabled phones come to the market, thus knocking down prices for older, compatible devices.
Already in March 2013, comparison-shopping site uSwich.com found that 71.8% of UK smartphone users polled knew what 4G was, and 56.8% said they wanted 4G.
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