Monday, February 7, 2011

Internet Users Doubled in 2010

Only 2.5% of total mobile subscribers are using mobile internet services according to the data provided by the Georgian National Communications Commission.  
According to the same data, the total number of mobile internet users was 445,489 as of 2010, out of which 417,640 subscribers were using GPRS internet, 19,656 - WAP/GPRS service and the remaining 8,193 were using HSDPA internet service.
The figures of mobile users have doubled compared to the year 2008 when total mobile internet service users were 215,701. The figures increased in 2009 - reaching 284,633 subscribers.
The total income from mobile internet service reached 3,773,588 GEL as of the first quarter of 2010. Total income exceeded 14 million GEL in 2009 and 12 million GEL in 2008.
As representatives of telecommunication companies said, the demand for mobile internet has doubled during the past two years especially.
“Bali is really now a dating service, if you really look at what the kids are doing with Bali they are spending more time on the internet than they are on the phone, so what we find is that we have invested a huge amount of money into our date network and we are constantly upgrading it, we are finding that young people are now using dating services more and more. It used to be SMS, but now it’s facebook, and email, chat, basically using your telephone as a computer,” said David Lee, General Director of Magticom.
Beeline told the FINANCIAL that demand for mobile internet approximately doubled during 2010.
“Demand for mobile internet has rapidly grown during the last few years, especially in the last 2 years. It is related to growing tourism infrastructure, because it is not possible to find access to fixed internet (ADLS, fiber optics, etc) everywhere, the only way to connect to the internet is via mobile phone,” a Beeline spokesperson told us. 
More than 20% of all Beeline subscribers use the internet on a regular basis.
The majority of mobile internet users are the teenage and middle aged segments of the population, basically surfing social network pages and checking emails.
“The reason for increased demand for mobile internet service is mainly the vast availability of the mobile networks, and subscribers’ demand for mobile services such as email and surfing ability on-the-go,” declared Irakli Lobzhanidze, Marketing Manager at Magticom.
As Lobzhanidze added the most surfed web pages are social networks such as facebook, internet search sites and mail.
“People have started to travel all over Georgia. Not only the local population needs internet access, but there are a lot of tourists coming to Georgia who use the internet even via Roaming. As well as that, business is expanding and internet connection is now needed not only in the main cities, but also in the more remote regions in the country. In parallel such community sites as facebook, Odnoklassniki and Skype which tie customers together so strongly have all become so well established, that the majority nowadays can’t live without using the internet for communication,” added Teona Bagdavadze, Beeline spokesperson. source

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