As a member of the ‘G8′ group of nations, the UK region is naturally expected to be at the forefront of developing technologies both in creation and in application, and it appears as though the internet (with Englishman Sir Tim Berners-Lee credited with the conception of the publicly-used ‘World Wide Web’ section in 1990), is no different, with British people noted as taking on more online shopping or mobile device browsing than anyone else, according to a survey from broadcasting regulator Ofcom, the 7th annual ‘International Communications Market Report’.
It is noted that UK consumers spend an average of £1,083 ($1,746) annually on ‘internet shopping’, with Australia in second place on an £842 ($1,358, AU$1,288) a trend said to be caused mainly by the common presence of connected mobile devices.
On that note, it is also claimed that ‘UK consumers’ download more in data through their devices than any other country, using connections to access a monthly average of 424mb worth of data (ahead of 2nd-placed Japan with 392mb), while 40% of Britons now used social media sites through their devices.
As an overall segment of web usage, mobile traffic accounts for 16% of the total in the region, also giving it a higher proportion than all others in Europe.
The survey, which studied the usage, availability, and pricing of popular media in ’17 major countries’, also noted that Britain was in front when it came to connected TV, with the highest rates of on-demand TV and DVRs, while 15% of consumers own a connected TV set, up against the 10% figure in the USA. The UK region also had a more dubious honour of one of the highest TV-watching rates in Europe, with the average of ‘over 4 hours’ per day (likely including ‘second screen’ experiences) only surpassed by the USA (293 minutes) and Italy (253 minutes).
The figures could partially be thanks to the lower prices found for communication subscriptions compared to elsewhere, with average monthly costs for cumulative telephone, mobile contracts, TV, and broadband coming in at £146, compared with France (£178) and USA (£314) amongst other more expensive places to live based on ‘tech’.
Ofcom’s director of research James Thickett said of the findings: “We (Britons) have a long history of catalogue shopping in the UK, and as many daily activities are increasingly carried out online, the internet has become the new destination for many shoppers. We have always been a nation of TV lovers, and our research shows that UK consumers are world leaders in using the latest TV technology. By catching up on programmes online or using smart TVs, the UK public is finding new ways to enhance their viewing experience.”