The average cellphone user is spending increasingly more of their monthly average spend on data, signalling a rapid increase in the number of mobile Internet users in South Africa, a new report by World Wide Worx has found.
In the ‘Mobility 2012’ research report, World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said that 12% of the average R200 spent on cellphone use was used for data – up from 8% 18 months ago, while voice expenditure fell to 73% from 77% of the bill.
Blackberry Messenger experienced the largest uptake in users, increasing from 3% to 17%. Users uptake in phone Internet browsers also increased from 33% to 41%, while application downloads jumped from 13% to 24%. Those using Facebook and Twitter on their mobile phones rose from 22% to 38% and from 6% to 12%, respectively.
About 59% of South Africans had Internet access, with 27% using their mobile phones.
Spending on SMS remained steady at 12% during the period, while users, for the first time, spent about 1% on full music tracks.
The study, undertaken in partnership with First National Bank (FNB), also found that cellphone banking was on the rise with FNB experiencing 25-million transactions valued at close to R3-billion a month from about four-million users.
FNB COO for cellphone banking solutions Done Sankor said that the increasing capability of mobile phones resulted in increased use of the devices for airtime purchases, including prepaid electricity and lotto purchases, at 74%, and paying accounts, at 15%.
About 36% of cellphone bankers used their phone browsers, as well as text-based services to transact online, while 5% used only their phone browsers to undertake banking activities.