back to article Brits love their phones, but spend less than ten years ago

Ofcom's annual report on the state of the UK communications market shows we are all doing more with our phones and tellies but we're not spending any more doing it. Despite the fact that almost a third of UK adults now have a smartphone, or that 93 per cent of us are connecting to the internet over broadband while watching our …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Smartphone Addiction

    Sitting on a train the other week from Reading to Penzance I had the chance to see this in its full unadulterated glory.

    Sitting opposite me in First Class (FGW Weekend upgrade) was a middled aged woman. She couldn't keep her hands off the phone.

    Literally every 3-4 minutes she'd pick it up and check for any new messages. This was repeated until she got off at St Austell. She might have been waiting for some important news but surely you can setup your smartphone to sound/vibrate or both when something happens?

    This made me look for this behaviour on my daily commute. A totally unscientific sample by yours truly has made me realise that this is indeed a problem and sadly it seems to be mostly women who are afflicted.

    I see one woman regularly on the 10 minute journey from Wokingham to Reading. She will check her phone at least 5 times in that short time. This behaviour is repeated every day.

    Sad. deeply sad. These people need help.


    I don't have one of these new fangles phones. My 6310i does quite nicely thanks.

    1. Ru

      "These people need help."


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reminds me of a recent viz top tip.

      Recreate a night in the pub by staying in and staring at your iphone all night.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, they do need something

      Something is missing in their internal life. They can't sit quietly for ten minutes without fidgeting with their phone. Often it is all I can do to prevent myself from slapping the phone out of their hands (which is probably MY problem) and I cannot be alone in finding this beyond irritating.

      They clutch them as if they have talismanic properties or something.

      1. bluesxman

        RE: No, they do need something

        You should get yourself a smartphone. It'll give you something to do on the train besides obsessing over what the other passengers are doing with themselves, their phones, their lives.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've got one, thanks ...

          Its just I also have internal thoughts and thankfully don't suffer from St. Vitus' Dance.

  2. Yet Another Commentard

    So that's what OFCOM has been doing

    Rather than, you know, actually regulating things like broadband, and fees, and service levels etc. etc. etc.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Smartphone Addiction

    How do you know she was checking for messages .... every so often I probably behave like this when I'm following some sporting event (F1, Tour de France, Wimbledon, Test Match etc) via the rolling blogs on Guardian/BBC/etc.

  4. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Exactly the way things should be

    That's progress, doing a lot more while spending the same. Or doing the same while spending less.

    If only governments could get a handle on this 'progress' lark....

  5. h4rm0ny

    Pay more?

    I would willingly pay more if I could find a service provider that was non-shit. I'm with Orange now but I don't know of any other company that is better.My phone bleeped this morning to tell me I had two voice mails waiting. One from yesterday afternoon and the other from last week. Utter shite. Why am I with them? The same reason everyone else is with their service provider: we're all waiting for someone decent to move to.

    1. mdava

      Orange sucks hardest

      My company mobile/blackberry is on Orange and the network is deeply useless - in terms of both coverage and the late voicemail notifications you referred to.

      I have used all of the other networks at one time or another and, while they may not be excellent, they are all less sh*t than Orange.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      How do I know what she was doing

      I could see the screen of her phone when she put it down on the table in front of her.

      Using ones eyes is not rocket science you know.

  6. Paul Shirley

    tuner availability

    "owners of Digital Video Recorders still consume 86 per cent of their television live, which surprised us"

    Unless you have enough multi capture tuners available for the multiplexes you want to watch in peak slots, you're going to have to watch live. With 4 Freeview tuners in my MediaPortal box I watch nothing but sport live by choice. When I recently dropped to 2.5 tuners I had to watch a lot live. Most domestic 2 tuner setups are much less capable.

    Lets also not forget that very few people would record live news or the crap shown outside peak slots. That's a large chunk of typical viewing.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge


      I make do with 1 tuner. Are there really 4 shows (or 12 if you are capturing the whole multiplex) on Freeview worth watching at a time?

      Also, sport is one of the main things I will PVR. Nothing like skipping through half time, or fast forwarding the boring bits.

      1. Martin 71 Silver badge

        Yes, quite frequently

        They still have this concept of 'primetime', meaning they spend 22 to 23 hrs a day broadcasting shite, then every channel broadcasts the programming they have that's worth watching, all at the same time.

        Beer, because I like it, and you have to do something else in that 22-23 hrs!

  7. John White


    Well if you're on a networked MythTV setup with three tuners and 'TV' [i.e. SFF PC+monitor] in Kitchen and 19+teen bedroom - you rapidly run out of 'tuners' to record [even if you *can* record three channels/multiplex] and watch live TV. Since son *likes* the MythTV mucho I'm looking at another tuner in secondar backend and a 1TB drive in the main backend to cope with his [and our] requirements.

    Good job I skipped the new TiVo - too limiting (bet it doesn't stream to other rooms). Don't even mention Sky. [and there's no cable in my town in WA15]

  8. Chris Parsons

    @Smartphone addiction

    I'm with you on this. Anyone who needs to check their phone constantly has some sort of problem - assuming they're not waiting for some big deal to come off, and I'm sure most of them aren't.

    These days, people lead shallow, impoverished lives, they would rather follow the inane prating of some 'celeb' than learn something about the world they live in, mainly, I suspect, because it is so much easier.

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