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UK adults now prefer to text than phone according to Ofcom report

According to research carried out by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, sending a text message is now the most preferred way for UK adults to communicate.

On average, UK mobile phone users now send 50 text messages per week. In total, 150 billion text messages were sent in 2011 compared to 51 billion in 2006 – a five-year difference.

The research also shows that the amount of text messages sent by post-pay subscribers increased in volume by 22 per cent during 2011, compared with almost 12 per cent for pre-pay subscribers. A trend that’s likely due to more people turning to contracts, rather than pay-as-you-go tariffs.

Volume of SMS messages sent

Out of all the text messages sent in 2011, post-pay subscribers sent 55 per cent.

There’s also been a steady rise during the same time period with the number of people signing up for post-pay tariffs. In 2011, just over 49 per cent of all mobile subscribers were on a contract – three million more than in 2010, while pre-pay subscribers fell 2.6 million.

Number of mobile connections, by pre-pay and post-pay

Operators offering bundled minutes, texts and data packages are part of the reason why people are migrating from pay-as-you-go to a contract subscription, as is the high-cost of some pre-pay handsets.

Smartphone user increase

Between 2011 and 2012 smartphone take-up rose from 27 per cent to 39 per cent with UK adults – representing 53 per cent of mobile phone users. It’s no surprise that smartphone take-up is highest among younger age groups, with 66 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds owning a smartphone.

Take-up of mobile phones and smartphones

The comparison between male and female users is close, but men are more likely to own a smartphone than women; 41 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.

And when asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how addicted they are to their mobiles phones, just over 41 per cent users indicated high levels of addiction. This was 37 per cent in 2011.

More information can be found on Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012.

What do you think of the findings? Let us know, below.

Image credit: kiwanja