Mobile Web use hits an upward curve at last

Mobile web traffic up over 450%

Data traffic to mobile phones jumped 463 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to the latest State of the Mobile Web report from Opera Software.

Page views were up by 303 percent over the year, the company said. The statistics measure web usage via Opera Mini, a widely-installed browser which uses Internet-hosted servers to pre-process web data before it is downloaded to the phone.

Opera's records of page-views and data consumed suggest that mobile Web use turned the corner around the end of 2007 and is now on an exponential curve upwards.

In particular, it has jumped in North America, with the US now in the top three of Opera Mini-using countries. However, while in every European country — and in Mexico — it is Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets that dominate, the US and Canadian lists are topped by BlackBerrys. Nowhere in Europe does a BlackBerry even get into Opera's top ten.

People are using more data in more locations and now expect a broadband experience on their phone, said Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO. "More people viewing more pages on mobile phones is the clear trend," he said. "The mobile Web is growing around the world, even in countries where broadband penetration is high. In fact, it is growing because consumers are used to having ubiquitous access to the Web and expect to have it wherever they are."

He added: "But the real promise of the mobile Web is in connecting those who do not have broadband. The next billion people will use the Web first on their mobile phones. Once that happens we will finally both unleash the vast potential and realize the greatest benefit of the mobile Web."

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Bryan Betts

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