Search fuels appetite for mobile web surfing

Bango today published statistics which confirm that the United States is at the forefront of a mobile web growth with a three fold increase in usage over the last year. This rapid rise, taking the US to second position behind the UK, is being fuelled by the increasing popularity of mobile search as a way of finding new content and services.
By working as a “global exchange” for the mobile web, Bango is able to provide a unique insight into where users are coming from world-wide and what handsets they are using. The top five countries accessing the mobile web via Bango* in April 2007 were the UK at 27%, the US at 21%, South Africa at 11%, India at 9% and Indonesia at 3%. In total, Bango detects mobile web users from over 190 countries.
In addition to growth in the US, Bango’s data shows that 9% of all accesses to mobile websites now come from India, up from 4% a year ago. India, with a population of just over 1.1 billion and lack of an established fixed phone line network, relies on mobile phones to stay in touch. Here, mobile phone usage is set to exceed European levels within the next few years.
In the first quarter of 2007 the top handset for accessing mobile websites was the Sanyo Katana SCP 6600. The fact that the Sanyo Katana is only available in the US reflects the rapid growth in mobile surfing by US users. Other popular handsets included the Motorola RAZR V3, the Sony Ericsson K750i and the Samsung A900.
“We see that wherever flat-rate mobile data charges are pervasive in a country then there’s much more web browsing,” said Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing at Bango. “This is certainly true of the US and South Africa and the imminent introduction of flat-rate data charges in the UK will push up mobile web usage in the UK even further.”
More businesses are now launching a mobile web presence so they can engage directly with their consumers anytime and from anywhere. Through a common integration point, Bango makes it easy for them to drive traffic to a mobile website, understand who the visitors are, track marketing campaigns and collect payment for digital content world-wide.
* Bango identifies users by their country and network of origin. The ranking is produced by measuring the number of user visits to mobile websites from each country.