More than two in five (45 percent) Brits that access the web use their mobile phone to get online, says the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
According to a survey by ONS that's an increase on 2010 when 31 percent said they used their mobile phone to get online. Those aged 16 to 24 saw their use of the mobile internet surge most to 71 percent, from 44 percent last year. Meanwhile, web users aged 65 and above were least likely to use their handset to access the net, with just eight percent admitting to utilising their mobile phone to get online.
The survey also revealed 38 percent of UK adults use another mobile device, such as a laptop or tablet PC, to access the web. And 13 percent of net users access the web via a Wi-Fi hotspot, almost double the figure from last year (seven percent).
Furthermore, 57 percent of adult web users go on social network sites, that's up from 43 percent last year. However, it's no surprise that 91 percent of those aged 16 to 24 admit to using sites such as Facebook.
Over three quarters (77 percent) of UK homes have net access, a four percent surge on 2010. Of these, 93 percent rely on an ADSL or cable broadband connection. However, half of the homes without net connections said they don't need access to the web.
Another survey by the ONS revealed in Q2 of this year, 8.73 million UK adults admitted they have never been online, a decrease of 12,000 compared to Q1. Of those that have never used the web, 76.3 percent were aged 75 and over. Furthermore, ONS said more than a third (36.8) percent of registered disabled people have never been online.
According to, Stephen Rayment, CTO at BelAir Networks, the ONS research confirms Brits clearly have an insatiable appetite for mobile data. He also suggests this demand could wreak even more havoc across 3G networks, particularly in city areas.
"Mobile operators are upgrading their networks through the forthcoming 4G auction to help address this but Ofcom has acknowledged it will not be enough. So, how will mobile operators meet this exponential demand for mobile internet use?," he said.
"Ask most smartphone and tablet users what they do when the mobile networks are performing badly and most will tell you that they instead turn to Wi-Fi. Mobile operators looking at this report should look to bring carrier-grade Wi-Fi into their networks or they risk providing a bad user experience."