Ofcom study finds we're ahead on broadband and digital TV, but behind of VoIP

Brits are early adopters of new tech

UK consumers are some of the earliest adopters of new technologies such as smartphones, broadband and digital TV, research by Ofcom has found.

According to the International Communications Market report, Britons also get lower prices for communications services compared to consumers in many other countries.

The study looks at take-up, availability and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV and radio in 17 countries.

Despite having one of the highest broadband adoption levels, The UK is behind in the take-up of VoIP services, with only five per cent of people subscribing, compared with 26 per cent in France and 20 in the Netherlands.

According to Ofcom, VoIP tends to be more popular in countries where there is high demand for international calls or where DSL broadband is widely available to consumers.

In the UK, laptops are the most popular device for accessing the internet at home (with 69 per cent), followed by desktop PCs. It is also the only country surveyed where more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds use a device other than a desktop for the internet.

29 per cent of British internet users say they use their mobile phone to access the web at home, second only to Japan, at 43 per cent. 14 per cent of UK and US consumers also use their games consoles to access the internet.

The UK saw the highest growth in smartphone take-up in the past year with a 70 per cent rise in subscriber numbers between January 2009 and January 2010.

We also lead the way in digital TV take-up at 91 per cent, and 59 per cent of UK households own an HD-ready television set.

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