UK TELECOM REGULATOR Ofcom has revealed that texting has overtaken talking in the UK, despite the many free instant messaging apps.
The study shows that the average UK consumer now sends an average of 50 text messages each week, while only 67 per cent make daily phone calls and only 63 per cent talk face-to-face. The overall time spent on the phone has also declined, falling by five per cent in 2011.
"These changes in communication habits reflect the rapid increase in ownership of internet-connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones - making access to web-based communications easier", Ofcom said.
Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst at Informa, said Ofcom's findings show that UK networks are managing to tackle the rise of free instant messaging services.
She said, "At a time when over-the-top messaging applications such as WhatsApp, iMessage and KakaoTalk are substituting SMS traffic and revenues in markets such as the Netherlands, Spain and South Korea, most of the UK's mobile operators have successfully used pricing to combat the OTTs, and to stabilize and grow their SMS traffic and revenues."
Ofcom's report also details the increase in tablet adoption in the UK, with 11 per cent of households now owning a tablet compared to just two per cent in the first quarter of 2011. What's more, 17 per cent of households said they intend to buy a tablet within the next year, a figure that could increase following the launch of the cheap and cheerful Google Nexus 7. µ