The U.S.A. has now caught up with Western Europe in adoption of 3G technoloy. A new report from comScore has found that it is a neck and neck race between the two regions now, with 28.4% of U.S. mobile users and 28.3% European mobile consumers using 3G technology.
The 3G industry has grown almost 80% in one year in the U.S. and now has 64.2 million subscribers, thanks to the availability of better networks and many new 3G-compatible handsets.
Italy and Spain still have better 3G penetration than the U.S. with 38.3% and 37.2% respectively, while Germany, France and U.K. have 23.9%, 17.1% and 27.6% penetration respectively.
A parallel survey conducted by comScore on the use of mobile search found that the popularity and frequency of mobile search has also gone up, both in the U.S. and Western Europe.
The growth of mobile search has been an impressive 68% and 38% in U.S. and Western Europe respectively, between June 2007 and June 2008, with the U.K. accounting for the highest mobile search penetration at 9.5% of all mobile subscribers, followed by the U.S. at 9.2% penetration.
According to Alistair Hill, analyst at comScore, it is not only the number of users using mobile search that has increased, but also the number of times each user uses it that has increased.
In Europe the number of people using mobile search at least once a week, has increased by 50% and in France and Spain it is 69% and 63% respectively. In the U.S. mobile search has more than doubled, thanks to better 3G penetration and the availability of 3G enabled handsets, as well as lowered tariffs.
Expectedly, it was found that Google was the most used engine for mobile search in all countries, followed by Yahoo! in Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.