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Minorities keenest consumers in UK

UK regulator Ofcom has released the results of a survey which shows that members of Britain’s ethnic minority communities are more enthusiastic consumers of communications technologies than the rest of the population.

The study, ‘the Communications Market Special Report on ethnic minority groups (EMGs)’, surveyed adults across a variety of EMGs including Asian total, Indian, Pakistani, Black Caribbean and Black African.

Of the EMG consumers surveyed, 83 per cent said that communications technology was important to them – a significant lead over the UK national average of 69 per cent. The importance of communications to EMGs was further illustrated by their awareness of technological developments, with 72 per cent of people from EMGs saying that they keep abreast of technology compared to an average of 59 per cent. Meanwhile, 63 per cent said they could not live happily without a mobile phone compared to an average of 50 per cent.

Penetration rates for various communications technologies also reflect the differences across segments of the UK populations. Broadband penetration among EMGs is 80 per cent, Ofcom found, while in the rest of the population it stands at 74 per cent. And while fixed line telephony among EMG was slightly lower than the national average – 86 per cent compared to 89 per cent – mobile penetration is higher. Around 83 per cent of EMG consumers have a mobile phone, while the UK average is 80 per cent.

Reliance on the mobile is also higher among EMGs with 44 per cent of users surveyed saying the mobile is their primary device for receiving calls. The national average is significantly lower, at 31 per cent. And while only 33 per cent of the general population has opted for post paid mobile service, 43 per cent of EMG consumers are on a contract.

The one area where users from EMGs lag the national average is television. Generally, EMG users watch less television than the national average, although satellite and cable TV have higher penetration among EMGs than the population as a whole.


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