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Mobile internet use up 25% as young people make online move

LONDON - Mobile internet use has skyrocketed in the UK in 2008, growing eight times more than PC-based internet, according to a Nielsen Online study.

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From the second to third quarter, mobile internet use increased 25%, from 5.8m to 7.3m users, compared to 3% growth for PC-based internet (34.3m to 35.3m). Mobile internet is increasingly popular among young people, with a quarter of mobile internet users aged 15-24, compared to one-in-eight PC users.

Kent Ferguson, Nielsen senior analyst, said: "The fact that almost 7.5m Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups."

BBC News and Google are the most popular websites for mobile internet users, followed by Facebook and Hotmail.

Mobile internet traffic also accounts for the majority of pages visits to sites like BBC Weather, Sky Sports and Gmail.

Ferguson said: "This highlights the advantage of mobile when it comes to immediacy -- people often need fast, instant access to weather or sports news and mobile can obviously satisfy this, wherever they are.

"The fact that most weather, sports, news and email sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites show that, at the moment, mobile internet is mainly about functionality and need as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce-focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites."

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