Mobile Networking

According to research from UK mobile network provider Orange reported by the Guardian, it sees over 166 million page impressions on popular social networking sites per month. What’s more, there was a 10% jump in music downloads, with 300,000 tracks downloaded in September and a 30% increase in mobile searches.

This is a further indication that mobiles are becoming and increasingly popular way of staying connected. Vodafone recently began offering unlimited access to Facebook, and mobile phones have long been a key way of keeping upto date with Twitter activity.

Operating system Opera released figures today that showed just how big the use of mobile – internet connecting is becoming. Last month, Opera generated 83 million MB of data for it’s operators, more than a MB of data for each person in the UK alone.

But these numbers could be so much greater. How may times have you gone to add an RSS feed to your phone’s broswer and found out four weeks later you’ve incurred a huge phone bill? Once, and never again I’d imagine.

This is the issue we’re currently facing. Data charges in the UK are finally falling, Virgin Mobile has started offering customers the opportunity to surf the net ontheir phones for just 30p a day, about a tenner a month which is cheaper than many broadband packages. But, considering the reduced quality of video and images on most phones, it hardly seems worth it.

Once data charges plummet further, we’ll all be able to connect with each other in whatever way we fancy anywhere, anytime with our mobiles.

Services such as Qik which allow you to share live video from your phone, are an indicator of the possibilites that the humble mobile handset can offer. Could the next step for Twitter be to integrate a live video feed into it’s offering – real time tweets become real time video feeds.

Until then, we’ll have to put up with expensive charges and unstable services. The walls are coming down, slowly, but surely.

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