The Mobile Data Association (MDA) today announced the quarterly figures for the total number of GPRS and MMS devices being used by customers in the UK as of 30th September 2004. The quarterly figures from UK GSM network operators O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone show a rapid increase for both GPRS and MMS devices on the previous quarter.
From a total active customer base of over 53 million*, GPRS active devices topped 26 million as of 30th September 2004, an increase of 10% on the previous quarter and double that of last quarter 2003 . This figure represents a 50% penetration rate for GPRS devices for the total UK market. This trend is expected to continue with the MDA predicting by the end of 2005 that 75% of all UK handsets in use will be able to access the internet.
GPRS services have illustrated an increase in popularity in the last 12 months in both the consumer and corporate markets. Popular applications include access to news services, timetables and mobile music with Band Aid being the fastest ever-selling ring tone. Mobile chat continues to be one of the most popular applications; last month saw the Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP become the first Prime Minister to use text message technology to talk directly to the people. Members of the public were able to submit questions to the Prime Minister in real time via a mobile chat room, transmitted live from No. 10 Downing Street.
MMS active capable devices reached 17 million as at 30th September 2004, with a penetration rate of 32% for the total UK market. September's figures show an increase on the previous quarter of 14%. With an ever increasing number of MMS handsets and applications, Christmas 2004 has seen an increase in animated Christmas cards on mobile screens, and this evolution will continue in 2005 with the increased use of MMS moods and emotions cards.