UK top for social networking in Europe

The UK spends more time on social networking and has more broadband connections than anywhere else in Europe, Ofcom has said

UK web users are the keenest advocates of social networking in Europe, spending more time on the trend than any other country on the continent.

Four out of 10 adults in the UK regularly visited social-networking sites during 2006 — more than anywhere else in Europe — according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market report.

Last year, users spent on average 5.3 hours per month on social-networking sites and returned to them 23 times during each month.

As a result, companies spent more on web advertising per person in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, shelling out an average of £33 per person — twice as much as in France, Germany and Italy combined.

Ofcom's report also looked at the global television, radio and telecoms markets during 2006, comparing the UK to 11 other countries.

The UK led the way in a number of other areas, with slightly more than half of all UK households having a broadband connection by the end of 2006 — edging ahead of the US.

The UK also had the highest uptake of digital TV of the 12 countries, with 76 percent of households now having digital. The closest rival was the US, with 61 percent.

UK consumers also get a pretty good deal on these services, with 40 percent of UK households buying triple-play bundles costing an average of £25 per month. In Germany a typical household paid £39.77 last year for the same set of services, while in the US the figure was £69.54.

Across the 12 countries, mobiles phones accounted for 53 percent of all telecoms revenues and 61 percent of all phone lines, following a trend since 2001 in the decline of the number of landlines.

Mobile uptake in the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) rocketed in that period, with 660 million new subscriptions accounting for 40 percent of the global total.

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