A recent YouGov study has found that people in the UK are no longer insterested in USB dongles for mobile internet. Just 7% of people said they would consider buying one in the future, whereas a year ago it was 14% of those surveyed. In 2008 it was 20% of people.
So what’s changed? For a large part it’s the emergence of the smartphone. With around 35% of the population owning one, more people have access to email, Facebook and other typical mobile activities. The study found that even where smartphone owners also have a dongle, they tend to opt for the handset to conntect to the internet. It would seem that much of that is down to user experience. Mobile optimised apps and web are faster to browse than traditional internet. In 2010 the telecoms regulator, Ofcom, commissioned a series of test to find out how fast dongles really were. Initial results showed that speeds were often similar to dial-up and the ‘broadband’ description was misleading.