Mobile Internet Access Jumps

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More mobile phone users are using their phones to access the Internet, according to the latest report of Opera Software, developers of Internet browsers, operating system for the web and other platforms.

Opera's State of the Mobile Web report for January 2010 also noted tha

Artwork: Chip Taylor
t Google and popular social networking sites are among the most visited Internet sites in Southeast Asia using mobile phones. In Southeast Asia, which is a focus of this month's report, page views among the top 10 countries increased by 599 per cent compared to year-ago figures.

In December 2009, there were 159 per cent more mobile users worldwide using Opera Mini to access the Web compared to a year ago. "Over 46.3 million people use Opera Mini each month, matching the number of Opera's desktop users for the first time," the report read. This translates to an 11 per cent increase from a month ago.

"During the four years Opera Mini has been available, things have changed. People are accustomed to downloading all manner of applications to their phones. People want the Web on their phones, not its distant cousin, WAP," said Jon S. von Tetzchner, co-founder, Opera Software.

The company released the Opera Mini browser in Sweden and Norway initially in November 2005.

Social networks

The January 2010 report also focused on social networks. It noted that Facebook has posted the most number of social network visits on the mobile web in Southeast Asia with a 600-per cent surge in 2009.

Twitter visits posted a huge jump by more than 2,800 per cent, making it the fastest growing social network.

Because of its current world record, Facebook has clinched the title from VKontakte, which was the most popular social network among Opera Mini users.

The top 10 Southeast Asian countries using Opera Mini are Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Aside from an increase in page views, unique users increased 385 per cent, and data transferred jumped 587 per cent.

Vietnam and Indonesia

In terms of page-view growth, Vietnam and Indonesia led the region, registering increases of 1,316.4 per cent and 641.9 per cent, respectively. In the same order, the two countries were also ahead on the basis of growth of unique users with 846.9 per cent and 419.7 per cent, respectively.

Brunei ranked first place among the ten countries in page views per user. The report noted that each user in the country browsed 987 pages on average each month.

Among mobile Web users, Google is at the top of the rankings for Southeast Asian countries. The very significant exception, however, is Indonesia where Google is only at #6 and Yahoo! is at #2. It is noted that the vast majority of Opera Mini users in Southeast Asia are in Indonesia.

Also in the region, Nokia handsets are preferred by Opera Mini users.

At the global level, four Asian countries entered the Top 10 Opera Mini users. Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam placed second, third, fifth and seventh, respectively. Russia outpaced all users as it ranked first on the list.

The full report in English can be downloaded from www.opera.com/smw/.

This story, "Mobile Internet Access Jumps" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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