An above average number of Irish mobile internet users (66pc) are aware of cloud data storage services and 77pc of this group is willing to pay for cloud applications, according to a study by Accenture.
Accenture’s Mobile Web Watch 2012 annual study of consumers in Europe, Latin America and South Africa reveals that Irish consumers are using multiple devices to connect to the web, including smartphones (69pc), netbooks (37pc) and tablet computers (28pc).
Ireland, along with South Africa and Brazil, is a front-runner in the adoption of mobile devices to access the internet, while users in France, Germany and Finland have the lowest uptake.
Reading between the lines this is probably because users in those countries have access to higher quality fixed-line broadband services than a country like Ireland, which leans heavily on 3G as a crutch for broadband. Finland is three years into a strategy to provide every home with 100Mbps broadband by 2015 while affordable high-speed broadband services are the norm in France and Germany.
Irish consumers want ubiquitous coverage, with a majority (90pc) ranking network quality as the top criterion in the selection of a service provider, followed closely by coverage and then connection speed (87pc).
Additionally, 84pc of Irish respondents said they view the cost of data connections as one of their top 5 criteria when selecting a carrier.
While the market for mobile internet is expanding, data security and privacy remain major areas of concern for 71pc of the Irish consumers surveyed.
Mobile internet usage in Ireland is greatest among the younger population, with highest usage in the 14-29 age group at 84pc – versus 60pc for those over 50, although still higher than the survey average of 45pc.
Almost equal numbers of Irish men (78pc) and women (76pc) accessed the internet on a mobile device, the narrowest gender gap among the 13 countries surveyed.
Forty per cent of Irish respondents accessed the internet through a TV and 34pc through a gaming console.
“The growth in use of mobile devices to access the internet and the emergence of the hyper connected Irish consumer, in conjunction with a willingness to pay for mobile services such as cloud or premium services, is opening up a host of opportunities, as well as challenges for service providers, not only in the communications, media and technology industries, but in more traditional sectors, such as banking and retail, too,” said Cathal Quigley, senior executive leading the Communications, Media and Technology Practice at Accenture.
“Companies will need to continuously upgrade their infrastructure to keep pace with consumer demands for increasing bandwidth, speed and security and collaborate and form partnerships across the value chain of the communications, media and technology industries.”
The apps economy
Sixty-nine per cent of Irish mobile internet users have downloaded programmes or apps to their mobile devices.
Information apps, such as train schedules, the weather, or news are the most popular, according to more than three-quarters (81pc) of Irish survey respondents, followed closely by entertainment apps (71pc).
The study also revealed that connecting with other users is the most important activity among mobile internet users.
Surprisingly, Irish people over 50 are more active on mobile blogging, accessing online communities or Twitter (86pc) than those aged 14-19 (77pc) – the reverse of behaviour in other countries surveyed.
Among Irish respondents, 29pc use their mobile device for Tweeting and blogging, and 53pc – higher than the survey average of 46pc – use mobile devices to conduct banking transactions.
Smartphone image via Shutterstock
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