Mobile is the first mass medium with nearly 5 billion subscribers worldwide, compared to 1.5 billion TV owners or 1.3 billion computer owners.

How regularly are we browsing the Internet via Mobile?

It is clear that not all the 5 billion mobile phones are currently connected to the Internet. However, the recent explosion of the smartphone market has contributed significantly to the adoption of mobile Internet but the gap between the fixed and mobile Internet, remains significant. Research firm eMarketer has predicted that, by the end of 2010, approximately 650 million people will regularly connect to the internet via their mobile handset, compared to nearly twice this number for desktop computers and laptops. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley has also recently predicted that by 2013 web access on mobile phones will finally outgrow desktops. This does not mean the end for all connections on the PC, but a shift towards consumer behaviors oriented to a more diversified web experience, where mobile and fixed web access will combine seamlessly without ever actually replacing one another.

If we take into consideration the example of France, in its study “Mobile Consumer Insight”, Médiamétrie has voiced its opinion that mobile Internet surfing actually complements desktop internet access. Indeed, in late Q1 2010, Médiamétrie estimated that 29% of mobile users are mobile internet users and that only 1 in 6 of these regular mobile internet users had occasionally used the fixed Internet.

Time will tell to see whether or not the mobile will eventually outpace the PC with regards to accessing the Internet. However, one thing is certain – as mobile usage diversifies and intensifies how users consume and access content over the Internet. Alongside this, the potential of mobile Internet as a payment or navigation tool are also very promising.

Watch this space.