Mobile Internet Is Fastest Growing Telecom Trend
The development of mobile Internet will lead to the popularization of mobile payments.
Published: April 4, 2012 (Issue # 1702)
Russia had the highest number of Internet users in Europe by September last year, according to comScore market research company.
The next step following fixed Internet access is for people to be able to get online no matter where they are.
“More and more businessmen need to have constant access to their work e-mail, and more young people are constantly posting on social networks, uploading pictures and video right from the event that they’re at,” said Denis Goleshchikhin, head of the northwest department of Yevroset mobile phone retailer.
“This shows that people need convenient multi-functional gadgets that they can take with them and that have Internet access,” he said.
Mobile Internet has become the latest trend in the development of telecom technology. According to research by Yandex, which operates Russia’s largest search engine, by January this year, more than 22 percent of residents in Russian cities used mobile devices for Internet access. During the last three years, the number of monthly mobile Internet users has almost doubled, while the overall number of Internet users has increased by only 50 percent, according to Yandex.
Although the main service provided by mobile operators is still the “voice function” — making calls — mobile Internet is raking in more and more profit. More than 30 percent of mobile phones support 3G technology, according to Denis Kuskov, head of TelecomDaily, a telecom information and analysis agency. Moreover, mobile Internet is quickly reaching regions where broadband Internet is difficult to set up.
“Mobile Internet technology — 3G — came to Russia much later than it did to Europe, but our operators have been able to avoid some mistakes by learning from those of others. Now we do not lag behind our foreign colleagues,” said Kuskov.
“There are two categories of mobile Internet subscribers: Those who use the Internet on their phones and those who use the Internet with the help of a modem. The former is the larger group, they however pay less and generate less traffic,” he said.
The most widespread gadget with mobile Internet access is the cell phone. Almost half of St. Petersburg residents who use mobile Internet use their phones to do so, according to Yandex research. The same amount (47 percent) use smartphones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), while the remaining 6 percent access the net via their tablet computers. The figures are the same for the whole of Russia.
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