Mobile internet outpacing fixed-line

Johannesburg - New data tracking trends in the mobile space finds that 72% of people use mobile internet on a daily basis while 18% no longer use a fixed line to access the internet at all.

More than half (56%) of respondents in SA accessed the internet daily, by mobile.

MEF, a trade body for companies wishing to engage consumers and monetise their goods, services and digital products via the mobile connected device, found that 57% of respondents around the world had used mobile banking.

MEF's Global Consumer Survey (GCS) report, based on research conducted among over 8 000 respondents in nine countries across five continents including SA, found that in each individual market, the number of consumers accessing the internet by mobile daily was higher than the number who accessed it with a fixed-line.

As many as 57% of respondents in SA had engaged in some form of banking or financial activity on their mobile, including balance check and transfer of funds, while 21% had paid a bill via their mobile device.

Meanwhile, 89% of SA respondents reported using their mobile phone to research or purchase a digital or physical product.

"This research demonstrates how mobile has increasingly become the platform of choice for internet access and reinforces how consumers are using mobile connected devices for a wide range of content and commerce activities including research, payments and financial activities," said Rimma Perelmuter, MEF executive director.

"MEF's GCS report provides invaluable insights to both mobile specialists and new entrants to the wider ecosystem looking to gain a deeper understanding of the evolving mobile habits of consumers across developed and developing markets."

Driven by convenience

Christian de Faria, MEF EMEA board member and group chief commercial officer at mobile operator, MTN, said: "Consumers are driven by the need for convenience. Today's consumer has the same needs that consumers have always had.

"They want access to financial services, health, as well as fun content such as music and games. MEF's Global Consumer Survey demonstrates that what has changed though is the consumer expectation and propensity to access content and commerce services quickly, easily and at any time."

With a plethora of competitively priced smartphones coming onto the market, the increasing availability of mobile internet and a host of relevant solutions such as Mobile Money and mobile remittances services, mobile content and commerce would continue to grow exponentially, MTN said.

However, the GCS Report also cited security as the biggest barrier to M-Commerce adoption.

Markets surveyed included Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Singapore, SA, the UK and the US.

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