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Global Economics

Mobile Data Still Growing in Downturn


3G services aren't slowing down for the recession. As plans' prices drop and devices get slicker, the mobile Internet is enjoying its own little boom time

It seems 2008 is the year of mobile data—in spite of the economic downturn.

Orange's research into its customers' behaviour shows mobile data usage almost doubling in the last quarter. It also said it has added 1.3 million 3G customers since the research was last conducted in November 2007 to January 2008.

Dongle subscriptions have grown by more than 2,000 per cent since then, the report found.

Orange reckons data rises can be put down to better designed devices—both handsets and dongles—enabling easier access to the mobile internet. It believes dedicated mobile data price plans have also helped, along with the rise of mobile social networking.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are generating an average of more than 166 million monthly mobile page impressions, according to the report. Meanwhile, mobile search has increased by 30 per cent and local search by 100 per cent, while September saw a record 300,000 tracks downloaded, according to Orange.

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