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Social networking drives mobile Internet surge

Half a million log on to the mobile Internet

Key features:

  • Half a million active users to T-Mobile’s web’n’walk mobile service with 1 million predicted by the end of 2007
  • Social networking boosting the use of the Internet on mobile phones
  • Sites like FaceBook, MySpace and Bebo now the most popular category

London, UK – 19th July 2007: Social networking sites are driving Internet use on mobile phones according to T-Mobile, which today announced more than half a million people are regularly using its mobile Internet service, web’n’walk.

Analysing web’n’walk data, the mobile operator has identified an emerging ‘always on’ culture, with Internet-addicted Brits using their mobile to ‘poke’ on Facebook, ‘share love’ on Bebo or follow Lily Allen’s life on MySpace. Eight social networking sites now feature in the top 20 websites visited from T-Mobile devices.

And the pace of mobile Internet uptake is such that T-Mobile predicts 1 million people will be logging on to web’n’walk by the end of the year.

T-Mobile has also seen a change in the type of people using mobile phones to access the Internet in the last six months. Men over 40 are now a minority as younger women and men spearhead the surge in networking site surfing. A constantly connected generation of 25-35 year old men and women are beginning to ignore other popular site categories such as adult content, news or sports in favour of virtual socialising.

Recent research findings from YouGov and T-Mobile underline the fact that Brits simply can’t switch off the Internet. Forty eight per cent of people now use their phones on public transport to update their social network pages and let the world track their movements.

Online socialising has also led to a new phenomenon – the ‘Internet red card’ with 14% of Brits admitted they would check out a date’s personal information from their mobile and abandon them if they found something less than desirable.

Nic Lane, Principle Analyst, Mobile Content and Apps at Informa Research comments: “The mobile market has evolved to such an extent over the last 18 months that mobile services are now of greater importance to the consumer than mobile content, such as ring tones and games. The service that is striking the greatest chord with the UK’s mobile users is the mobile Internet. We are at an infotainment and services stage of mobile’s data development. The UK mobile industry has adopted a flat-rate data pricing model to reflect this evolution”.

Richard Warmsley, Head of Internet on the Move, T-Mobile, said: “We’re witnessing a massive change in the way we socialise, driven by our ability to access the internet, through mobile and delivered at broadband speeds. Web’n’walk lets people socialise online, but it also allows them to access any Internet sites and services that they would on their PC – from shopping for the latest fashions to booking train tickets. By bringing the whole Internet to your phone, for a simple fixed cost, T-Mobile’s web’n’walk is setting the Internet free.”

Web’n’walk is designed to be used by anybody who wants access to the information that is personal or important to them at anytime. As web‘n’walk offers access to the real open Internet, customers using the web’n’walk are able to browse the Internet how they want and are free to log on to whatever websites they choose. Web’n’walk from T-Mobile gives users unlimited use of the UK’s first open, flat rate mobile Internet service for £7.50 per month for pay-monthly customers and any day access at £1 per day for unlimited web browsing on pay-as-you-go and pay monthly. There is currently a choice of over 40 handsets – the UK’s widest range of ‘real Internet’ mobile phones.

- Ends -

Contacts:

  • Sophia Parviez
    T-Mobile
    Work +44 (0) 7908 208 417
  • T-Mobile Press Line
    +44 (0) 7017 150 150
  • Brands2Life
    +44 (0) 207 592 1200

Notes to Editors:

The 500,000 customer figure excludes T-Mobile customers subscribing to web’n’walk Plus and Max

Mobile Internet timeline

  • November 2005 - T-Mobile launches web‘n’walk - the UK’s first simple, open Internet experience with the freedom to browse the entire web, just like we use at home and at work.
  • April 2006 - T-Mobile is the first UK operator to charge a flat rate per month plan for unlimited mobile Internet browsing and e-mail.
  • August 2006 - T-Mobile launched web’n’walk for pay as you go customers – with a unique new charging mechanism – with browsing costs capped at a maximum of £1 per day, however much you surf.
  • October 2006 T-Mobile first to launch HSDPA. T-Mobile offers a number of HSDPA, High Speed Downlink Packet Access, enabled handsets, which deliver fast mobile Internet connection. HSDPA makes the 3G network faster so you can download files and surf the internet at higher speeds.
  • October 2006 - web’n’walk Plus and Max launched by T-Mobile, providing an enriched web experience via a handset modem or laptop card, and access to the full range of internet calling services (e.g. VoIP).

About T-Mobile UK

T-Mobile is one of the world’s largest mobile operators with more than 91 million customers worldwide and in the UK it is the network of choice for approaching 17 million customers, making it one of the largest networks.

T-Mobile has a range of innovative products and services such as Flext, a unique tariff with flexible pricing; U-Fix, a tariff that combines pay-as-you-go and a monthly contract and Web'n'Walk, which enables customers to surf websites on the move. T-Mobile's network coverage is among the best in the UK (over 99% of the UK population) with one of the lowest dropped call rates. It offers the largest worldwide Wi-Fi network, with over 1,000 HotSpots in business-friendly locations in the UK and 21,000 worldwide, and offers the fastest 3G network across the UK with speeds of up to 1.8mb per second.

For more information about T-Mobile UK, please visit www.t-mobile.co.uk

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