Analysis of mobile internet

Published 21 Sep 2017

In this article, Verkasalo investigated the different measures of cellular phone internet usage of early adopters. He aimed to determine several ways that can measure internet diffusion among mobile phone users. Author conducted a longitudinal study in Finland in 2005 and 2006. The research design combined qualitative and quantitative studies. Handset research was used and combined with Internet surveys and mobile-based pop-up questionnaires. The following metrics were used to measure mobile internet usage: “Absolute packet data volume per month per user, Share of panelists using handset browser, and Share of internet communication actions to all communication actions” (p. 75). The sampling strategy was purposive sampling, wherein recruitment SMS messages were sent arbitrarily to consumers who owned Nokia S60 smartphone devices.

Customers of the three big network providers, Elisa, TeliaSonera, DNA Finland, were targeted by the research. A total of 1195 people participated (500 in 2005 and 695 in 2006). Findings showed that mobile internet communication service usage stands for a small percentage of total mobile communications. There was no marked increase in internet usage from 2005 to 2006. Author also discussed three kinds of metrics: metrics that present the development of open mobile software platforms and network edge advances; metrics that measure absolute usage and functional computation of packet data traffic; and evaluations of cellular and internet services suggested that mobile service was seen more as a substitute for cellular communication.

Author concluded that these factors impact the use of internet for mobile phone users: regulation, changes in the mobile business ecosystems, technical development and end-user behaviour. Finnish customers seemed to be dedicated to legacy services that operators promote through bundling services. The pricing of SMS and calls were also more competitive than internet usage services. The strengths of the study are the uses of different data collection methodologies, the perceived accuracy of handset-based research, and importance of panel studies to establishing internet usage trends. The weaknesses of the study are limited sampling, especially to early adopters, and lack of generalisability of findings.

Annotated bibliography

  • Verkasalo, H. (2009). Analysis of mobile internet usage among early-adopters. info, 11 (4), 64-82.
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