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Devices used to access the internet in the United Kingdom (UK) in from 2020

Smartphones have pulled away from laptops to become the most important device used to access the internet for close to half of those accessing the internet in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020. In 2020, significantly more people identified smartphones as their most important device for accessing the internet, compared with those that nominated each of the large display formats combined.

Increasing use of mobile data

As phone displays and mobile data infrastructure improve, mobile phone users are consuming more data than ever before. From 2015 to 2018, the volume of data consumed in the UK increased from 7.29 million gigabytes to 211 million gigabytes. The average consumption per sim card has increased from .87 GB to 1.9 GB over the same period. Despite the increase in consumption, mobile service providers have not seen an increase in revenue from data services, generating 1.73 billion British pounds in 2017, exactly the same amount as they generated from mobile data services in 2010.

Next-gen communications

  4G currently offers the fastest means of downloading data using a mobile device, but 5G looks set to blow 4G out of the water in the coming years. Once 5G capable devices are more widely available and more affordable, it is expected that there will be 155 million 5G subscribers in Western Europe by 2024. 

Which is the most important device you use to connect to the internet, at home or elsewhere?

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Release date

April 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

January 2020 to March 2020

Number of respondents

2,419 respondents

Age group

16 years and older

Special properties

Those who use the internet at home or elsewhere

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

The source adds the following information: "All data have been weighted to ensure they are representative of the UK adult population. Data is tested at the 95% confidence level."
During the survey, this question was posed as follows: "Which is the most important device you use to connect to the internet, at home or elsewhere?"

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Statistics on "Mobile devices in the UK"

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