Study Reveals Surge in Non-Voice Mobile Communications

Driven primarily by consumer smartphone adoption, the latest wave in mobile communication is of the silent kind. A study released today by research firm BIA/Kelsey and ConSat reports that among mobile consumers surveyed in October, 18.5 percent searched the Internet for products or services in their local area, up from 15.6 percent in 2008.

“This third wave of our Mobile Market View study confirms several key trends taking shape in the rapidly evolving mobile advertising space,” said Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, BIA/Kelsey, in a statement. “Not the least among these trends is that mobile is quickly developing into a viable platform for local commercial activity.”

The Mobile Market View study, which is conducted annually in October, surveys 504 U.S. mobile phone users aged 18 and older via an online 40-question survey. The study measures a wide range of mobile phone activities, with the objectives of gauging overall trends in usage.

Highlights from the study:

  • The percentage of users making more than 10 mobile Internet accesses per week continues to increase significantly, now representing over one-fifth of all mobile users.
  • 48.2 percent sent or received more than 10 text (SMS) messages per week
  • 21 percent had more than 10 Internet accesses per week
  • 20 percent sent or received more than 10 e-mails per week
  • 18.5 percent searched the Internet for local products or services
  • 15.9 percent obtained information about movies or other entertainment
  • 13.3 percent obtained information about restaurants or bars
  • 11.1 percent searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area
  • 4 percent purchased a physical item that needed to be shipped (e.g., a book)