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Ten years is a short period in which to expect
dramatic change in consumer behaviour or
adoption of new technologies. Not so with
e-communications. The last decade has seen
a seismic shift in our use of the internet:
mobile phones now offer access to social
networks, music and entertainment, and
messaging has grown exponentially.
The momentum continues. As 4G (LTE)
continues its roll-out across Europe, it is
bringing fixed line broadband speeds to
Europe’s smartphones that will make possible
live video streaming, m-banking, m-retail and
NFC applications. It will be transformational.
Apps and internet access are also giving
impetus to new ways of keeping in touch
through a smartphone via social network
sites, which avoids call charges.
The EU has an ambitious agenda for the
internet; making fast (30Mbps+) broadband
available to all and to see superfast
broadband (100Mbps+) in 50% of homes
by 2020. There are barriers to overcome.
Internet subscribers are mostly happy with
what they have and are reluctant to pay
more. However, history suggests that sooner
or later we will want to trade up to faster
Not everyone is at the frontier of change.
One household in three stills lacks internet
access, they are more likely to be older, rural
and living in Eastern or Southern Europe.
However, internet access is on a growth
trajectory and countries with low connection
rates are catching up.