back to article In a mobile data eating contest, Brits would win - Ofcom

Brits like to splurge more on the internet than any other major country, according to regulator Ofcom. UK shoppers have broken the £1,000-a-year mark by £83, compared to Aussies, who spend an average of £842 a year and the Swedes, who pay out £747. In fact, Brits like to shop online so much, they can't even stop themselves …


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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge


    > online consumption on the move needs plenty of mobile broadband ... Blighty is still the cheapest

    People buy more stuff when it's cheap.

    The reason mobile comms is so cheap in the UK is because we're all squeezed in so tightly together. Telcos have no need to spend oodles running a cable dozens of km (or erecting a tower) just to service a few households. Instead that same few km's of cable (or tower) can service hundreds or thousands of subscribers.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume you also watch more TV/spend more time online because your weather is crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      In part yes. But faced with a diet of Australian TV anybody would choose to go outside regardless of the weather.

    2. taxman

      Joshing aside

      No TV in this house, not until licence fee scrapped. I have no option but use my time, and combat our crap weather, by keeping warm. Not that I complain about the method used ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Joshing aside

        presumably you keep warm by typing immensely dull comments on el reg, then?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep. The weather is crap and the days are short. That pretty much leaves telly and beating the kids as our entertainment.

  3. gazzton

    "The average viewer in Blighty watches over four hours of TV every day"

    Wow. If that's true then some poor bugger is watching a lot more than that to make up for my share.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was thinking 4 hours isn't actually that much. Personally I probably get to about 4 hours in a week (odd episode of Dexter/Walking Dead etc.) but my sister, the box is on and they're infront of it from the time she gets home to the time she goes to bed.

  4. Ben79

    TV watching time

    Four hours a day? Sounds like torture.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: TV watching time

      In hour house, the TV is on while people are variously Facebooking, Youtubing etc. The TV is just that lump of moving coloured wallpaper in the corner. If it was running a screensaver of goldfish, I doubt anyone would notice.

      Come to think of it - don't any of these smart TVs run screensavers?

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    Could we have the source for this so we can look at the figures in detail as I doubt some of the figures. The last time I compared the UK was not very competitive for either fixed-line or mobile internet.

    Here's the view from Germany:

    I've got 50 MB/s broadband, TV and flatrate phone for € 35 a month. A mobile contract for phone with 500 MB data is around € 20. Around £ 500 a year. You have to be a mug to pay significantly more than that - LTE would only add around £ 100 to it but you could start looking at dropping the fixed-line services with that. And if they put the prices up I won't be buying, plenty of other things in life I'd rather spend my money on.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Source?

      Nice. In the UK I had (in 2010; been abroad since) 20MB truly unlimited broadband (actually speed over 10MB/s), phone (and line) and Sky TV for 35 pounds/mo. Don't know what it'd be now.

      @AndrueC - that'd be the representatives of the vast minority who are highly politically connected but choose to live in the countryside.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Source?

      I have "unlimited" mobile 3G on an (old) T-Mobile plan, and I pay £10/month.

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: Source?

      Pretty certain "3" were undercutting that 2-3 years ago on PAYG - 0.5p/Mb on one deal, more typically 1p/Mb - though I never used more than they threw in free with each topup anyway. Today giffgaff only want £5 for that 500Mb on prepay (and allow tethering!).

      That German tariff seems very average compared to even mainstream UK contracts. I tend to assume heavy data users fight through the dense thicket of deliberately confusing tariffs to find the cheap ones.

    4. M Gale

      Re: Source?

      " you could start looking at dropping the fixed-line services with that."

      I'm sure many people could. However, how long could the average Reg reader stand to be stuck behind I know it can be somewhat annoying for me.

    5. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Source?

      Mine works out about the same as you. £15 per month for "unlimited" data on my phone. £30 per month for broadband and home phone. That is one of the more expensive plans available, I could get the broadband cheaper elsewhere, but I prefer to pay more for a better service.

    6. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Source?

      I pay £15/month for unlimited 3G internet, 6000 minutes, unlimited texts. I use on average between 300MB and 3 GB a month, with a peak usage of 8 GB, mainly subscription music and TV services. Watching TV on my phone for around 6 hours a day - I like to have the cricket on at work - uses about a GB of data.

    7. kyza

      Re: Source?

      From the article:

      -Brits like to splurge more on the internet than any other major country, according to regulator Ofcom.-

      I think the bit at the end would be most useful.

      Since I know it's rude to give a sarcastic response like this, here's the actual OfCom press release:

      Here's the source report:

  6. AndrueC Silver badge

    ..and yet people say our internet connectivity is not fit for the purpose and needs billions spending on it.

    How odd.

    1. dotslash

      I think we're just better at putting up with piss poor services since we've had to endure piss poor services most of our lives.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    484M? in what time frame?

    The article says Brits consumed 484MB of data - it's unclear if that is just in December or for the whole year.

    But even if that is just in December - that seems rather small. I burn through about 300MB a month on my phone here in the US - more if I am traveling. Granted, I am likely not at the median of usage (having a grandfathered unlimited data plan) but if all it takes is 484MB to be "the champ", then mobile data consumption must be pretty slim.

    1. Mayhem

      Re: 484M? in what time frame?

      Given PAYG data usage is roughly £1/day for 25Mb and then £1/MB after that, I'm not surprised the great unwashed tend to be fairly stingy on mobile data usage.

      One reason things have probably gone up would be the rise of iphones etc and their associated 'unlimited' data packages. People finally started breaking the habit of being cheap.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America vs UK

    "The average viewer in Blighty watches over four hours of TV every day, 242 minutes."

    "... the US, at 293 minutes."

    I'd wager that if you cut out adverts, we probably spend more time watching actual TV programs than even the Americans do.

  9. Steve Foster

    "out of the house"

    "In fact, Brits like to shop online so much, they can't even stop themselves when they're out of the house. Over a fifth of UK smartphone users use their mobes to visit retailers online, the highest amount in Europe."

    I suspect this would mostly be price checking while in the shops (ie making sure Currys et al aren't ripping us off as badly as they used to).

    PS spend 1 hour in the naughty corner for lazily using "mobes".

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