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3/16/2009
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Mobile Web Usage Doubles

Social networks, blogging, and news Web sites are spurring the use of daily mobile Internet usage, according to a new ComScore report.

The amount of people using a cell phone for daily access to the Web doubled from January 2008 to January 2009, according to a new report from ComScore.

The research firm's report said the growth was driven by the improved mobile data networks, Web-friendly hardware, and more compelling online content. Overall, ComScore found 63.2 million people access news and information on a mobile device in January 2009.

"Over the course of the past year, we have seen use of mobile Internet evolve from an occasional activity to being a daily part of people's lives," said Mark Donovan, ComScore's senior VP of the mobile division, in a statement. "This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium as consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."

The wireless carriers are placing a stronger emphasis on mobile data services because it opens up another revenue stream beyond voice. T-Mobile is finally rolling out a 3G network for its subscribers, and companies like Sprint, and Verizon Wireless have already outlined plans for the next generation of mobile broadband.

Internet-centric devices like the iPhone 3G, Samsung Instinct, T-Mobile G1, and BlackBerry Storm helped propel mobile Web usage. While smartphones are leading the way, ComScore also found that a large percentage of users were accessing the Web with feature phones.

Social networks were big reasons subscribers were surfing the Web on the go, ComScore said. Many users are accessing these through applications from places like Apple's App Store, and apps from Facebook and MySpace are routinely breaking download records. Blogging and news sites are also drawing the attention of mobile Web users, ComScore said.


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