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The changing face of interpersonal communications

According to Ofcom's ninth annual Communications Market Report for the United Kingdom released in "Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent ways of keeping in touch for UK adults."

Other interesting findings from this report include (data is as at Q1 2012, with comparisons to Q1 2011 unless otherwise specified):

  • Total internet access has edged up to 8 in 10 homes (which is partly attributed to the rise in smartphone ownership, now at 39%).
  • Each UK household on average owns 3 different internet-enabled devices.
  • Consumption of mobile data more than doubled in the 18 months to January 2012.
  • The number of SMS and MMS messages grew to an average of 200 message per person per month.
  • The volume of voice calls on fixed line and mobiles phones fell.
  • Q1 2012 broadband take-up increased 2% in the year to 76%.  Fixed broadband take-up rose to 72% with mobile broadband decreasing to 13%. Super-fast broadband is available to 60% of UK homes at that same time. 
  • 11% of UK households own a tablet, compared to 5% of TV homes having a smart TV. 87% of tablet owners say they use it mostly at home.
  • The percentage of households taking a bundled services (combining some or all of voice, broadband and TV) has increased from 53% to 57% over the year.
The full report covers:
  • the the rise of text-based communications (pp33),
  • differences in usage between older and younger users (pp49),
  • tablets and e-readers (pp61),
  • the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (pp75),
  • television and audio-visual content (pp113),
  • radio and audio content (pp181),internet and web-based content (pp219),
  • telecoms and networks (pp279), and
  • post (pp359).

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