UK is the 'most mobile data hungry country'

The UK uses more mobile data than any other country and also has one of the highest percentages of smartphone owners globally, Ofcom has said.

An Ofcom report into the way people use and access the internet has revealed that the UK uses more mobile data than any other country.

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The UK telecoms watchdog released the report highlighting the appetite for internet usage on the move on Thursday. Its annual International Communication Market Report looks at take-up, availability, price and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV, radio and post across 17 major countries.

"UK consumers are downloading more data on their mobiles and tablets than any other major nation. In December 2011, the average UK mobile connection used 424MB of data, whether for social networking, streaming videos, web browsing or downloading music," the regulator said in an announcement.

According to the data, UK consumers use laptops, smartphones and other connected devices to access the internet more often than other countries, resulting in the UK edging Japan into the second spot on mobile data usage. The US was sixth with 319MB per mobile connection.

The 424MB figure for the UK differs from Ofcom's own data, the organisation said, as it is compiled by Cisco, rather than measurements from UK operators. Ofcom said in June 2012 that the average mobile customer was using 245MB of data per month . A spokesman explained the difference in data and methodology is part of an effort to keep the baseline methodology the same for all the countries included in its annual Communication Markets report.

In total, 16 percent of all website traffic in the UK was via a mobile, tablet or other mobile-related device such as a dongle or Mi-Fi unit; higher than any other country in Europe.

Ofcom also said that the UK has one of the highest penetration rates of smartphones (58 percent) and just under one in five people (19 percent) own a tablet.