Belfast Telegraph

Plugged in, switched on: What Ofcom report reveals about Northern Ireland

By Claire McNeilly

MOBILE PHONES

Almost nine out of 10 people (or 88%) here have a mobile phone, putting Northern Ireland on a par with the rest of the UK.

Almost one in five households (or 18%) now relies on a mobile phone rather than a traditional fixed-line home phone, compared to 14% across the UK.

BROADBAND

70% of homes in Northern Ireland now have broadband – an increase of 6% from last year.

That also represents a staggering hike of 35% compared to 2005, when only a quarter of all homes had broadband.

SATELLITE

Across Northern Ireland as a whole, satellite is the most popular TV platform, with 43% of homes having satellite as their main way of watching television. Freeview is the next most popular TV platform at 28%, with cable at 12%.

Only 13% of households still rely on analogue TV on their main set, although full digital switchover is not due to take place in Northern Ireland until 2012.

INTERNET BANKING

Four in 10 households (or 41%) in Belfast area use the internet for banking.

That’s higher than the Northern Ireland average (36%) and approaching the UK average.

MP3 PLAYERS

More people in Northern Ireland have an MP3 player or an iPod (37%) than any other UK nation.

They are particularly popular in the Belfast area (42%).

GAMES CONSOLES

Over half of homes in Northern Ireland (52 per cent) have a games console – the highest proportion of the UK’s nations.

DAB RADIOS

Northern Ireland has the lowest take-up of DAB radios in the UK at 22%

Ownership in England sits at 39%, Scotland 36% and Wales 29%.

TV VIEWING

People in Northern Ireland watch less TV than the the UK average.

During 2009, people here watched an average of 3.5 hours per day, compared to the UK average of 3.8 hours.

Average viewing levels have, however, increased by 5%, compared to UK-wide increase of 1%.

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