Survey: Few Broadband Users Go Mobile For Web Access

More than 90 million Americans ages 13 or older access the Internet through a broadband connection, and 62% of broadband subscribers own a Net-enabled mobile device.

Yet, just 5% of broadbanders (about 5 million people) are choosing to access the Internet through their cell phones or PDA's, according to a Media-Screen Netpop/Pocket online survey released this week. The numbers using broadband to access the Net via video game consoles and TV are even lower (4% and 2%, respectively).

Netpop/Pocket is an ongoing study of the maturation of the U.S. consumer broadband market. These latest results come from surveying broadband users last July on their broadband usage habits and attitudes during the prior month.

Nearly all (94%) of broadband users access the Net from desktop computers, and the average number of Net activities regularly performed on standard-sized browsers is 13.4, versus 3.3 on mobile devices.

The top two barriers to using mobile devices for Net access are extra fees and difficulty of using the Net on small screens. Among those who own Net-enabled phones but don't use them for Web access, 58% cited extra fees and 26% cited small screens as top barriers; among those who do use mobile devices for Net access, 52% and 49% cited fees and small screens, respectively, as the top barriers.

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Among those who don't own Net-enabled mobile devices (and so presumably haven't as much experience with the technology), only 45% and 18% cited fees and small screens, respectively, as the biggest barriers.

"Clearly, online activity has yet to move beyond the traditional second screen," sums up Media-Screen.

Brand-wise, Motorola and Nokia lead among owners of Net-enabled mobile phones. Among 13 brand options (including "other"), about a quarter (26%) report owning Motorola phones, and 42% reported awareness of that brand, while 19% reported owning Nokias and 36% reported awareness of that brand.

Verizon and T-Mobile lead among mobile service brands, with 22% and 21% of Net-enabled device users reporting that they own these brands, respectively. (Although awareness of T-Mobile was slightly higher, at 64% versus Verizon's 62%).

The percentages reporting ownership of other brands were AT&T/Cingular, 24%; Sprint/NexTel, 18%; Virgin Mobile, 8%; Amp'd Mobile, 5%; Metro PCS, 5%; and "other" 5%. The awareness curve for these brands correlated with the ownership percentages reported.

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