Only 10% of mobile users in Europe use mobile Internet

Research and Markets says in a recent report that only 10% of mobile users in Europe who have access to mobile Internet actually use it. The summary says in part:

Operators nevertheless face a number of challenges – while gaming, video and music portals are concepts which have been transferred into the mobile arena, and subscribers have become more aware of the capabilities of 3G and other services, they are also wary of the high costs of data transfer. The most successful data service remains SMS, while only about 14% of subscribers use MMS/picture messaging, and only 10% of mobile users across Europe who have access to mobile Internet make use of it. In areas such as mobile TV, successful trials have not yet translated into general consumer acceptance.

I am sure many of you have already read about my 250 EUR surprise. This is the phone bill I got after my trip to Lisbon where I stupidly checked email and browsed the web (but only lightly) using my Orange GPRS data subscription. Never again! They charged me 15 EUR per MB on top of the most horrible roaming rates I have ever seen in my life. It’s Wi-Fi for me from now on especially now that I have a Nokia N80i.

I have a friend who received abill for 10,000 EURfor uploading 450 megabytes (mostly video) to her blog using a GPRS data subscription.

So you have mobile operators who have spent millions of euros on building out infrastructure and marketing GPRS subscriptions promising a “mobile Internet” experience and only 10% of people use it. A complete failure, unless of course the dirty secret is that the network cannot handle large amounts of traffic so the mobile carriers purposely limit the number of people on the network or restrict intensive use of the network by, among other things, charging a fortune for access.

The Research and Markets Report offers the latest data, statistics and analysis on the mobile data market in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Subjects include telecoms infrastructure, regulatory issues, the EU regulatory framework, national, regional and municipal policies, fixed network operators and infrastructure developments.


  1. MobilePro has acknowledged in their conference call on Wednesday that they will spin-off Kite, who has muni Wi-Fi deployments in Tempe, AZ as well as numerous other cities. The spin-off of Kite will be handled as an IPO by BB&T and the new entity will be a pure-play, stand alone public company, which is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.