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Customer Numbers

Mobile telecommunications have been available in the UK since the mid 1980s, they are now ubiquitous: there are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. 

In 2000, just half of UK adults said that they had a mobile phone – that figure now stands at 93%.

Mobile phone take up in the UK was 93%. England has 93%, Northern Ireland and Scotland have 91% take up and Wales has 90%.

Smartphone take up in the UK was 66%. England has 67% take up, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have 63%. 

Tablet take up in the UK was 54%. Wales has 60% take up, England and Northern Ireland have 54 % and Scotalnd has 52%.

At the end of 2014 15% of adults lived in a home that has a mobile phone but no landline. 

Adults aged 15+ in the UK spend an average of almost an hour and a half (87 minutes) using their mobile phones each day, with about half of this (43 minutes) spent on activities that require internet access. Forty-four minutes are spent on activities that do not necessarily require an internet connection (e.g. phone calls, listening to stored music, playing games).

Overall satisfaction with mobile phone services at the end Q1 2015 was 89%. 

Mobile Network Coverage

99.7% of UK premises (homes and offices) had outdoor 2G mobile coverage from at least one operator in June 2014. Levels of coverage are influenced by population densities and by topography. As a result, 99.8% of England’s premises were covered by 2G mobile from at least one operator, with 98.9% in Wales, 99.5% in Scotland and 98.9% in Northern Ireland.

The comparable figures for 3G coverage were slightly lower: 99.3% of UK premises; 99.6% in England, 97.1% in Scotland, 97.9% in Wales and 98.6% in Northern Ireland.

4G coverage has already reached 89.5% of UK premises with 92.1% for England, 79.7% for Scotland, 62.8% for Wales and 91.1% for Northern Ireland.  

Use Of Mobile Devices

In Q1 2015 61% of adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Mobile telephony is vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness, and in promoting social inclusion.

Household take-up of tablet computers has increased over the past year to 54%, up from 44% in 2014, 24% in 2013 and 11% in 2012.

For the first time the smartphone (33%) has overtaken the laptop (30%) as the device internet users say is the most important for connecting to the internet.

Outgoing call volumes from landlines continued to decline in 2014 while mobile volumes increased slightly. The volume of calls from fixed lines fell by 12.6% to 80 billion minutes while mobiles increased by 2% to 137 billion.

The total volume of outgoing SMS and MMS messages fell by 20 billion messages to 110 billion messages in 2014 due to increasing smartphone take-up and use of internet-based communications methods.

Source (unless otherwise indicated): 'The Communications Market 2014', Ofcom 







89.9 Million Mobile Subscriptions

Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61% of UK adults used their mobile phone for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households. Operators are working with Ofcom to extend the benefits of mobile communications as widely as possible; 99.7% of UK premises (homes and businesses) had outdoor 2G coverage from at least one operator; 3G coverage is slightly lower at 99.3% and 4G has reached 89.5%.

Smartphone ownership 

Two thirds of all adults (66%) now own a smartphone, this is on a par with laptop ownership. The proportion of adults that accessed the internet on a mobile handset increased to 61%. Over half of households (54%) had a tablet computer. Twenty eight percent of individuals now own an e-reader.