Many Canadians log on, log off, log on, log off, and log on again, according to research from The Yankee Group that finds 48 percent of the nation’s users access the Internet at least three times per day. Furthermore, 71 percent of those spend at least 15 minutes online during each session, and 5 percent of Canadians report they stay connected to the Internet throughout the day.
Most Canadian Internet users are accessing via a broadband connection: the Yankee Group found that DSL and cable modem subscribers eclipsed dial-up for the first time in 2002. Once connected, Statistics Canada found that while email remained the Internet activity used by most of the regularly surfing households, e-banking usage has more than doubled, and online shopping has nearly tripled since 1998.
|Internet Activities of Regular Usage Households|
|Search for employment||NA||NA||30.5%||33.2%||35.0%|
|Listening to radio||NA||17.5%||23.2%||25.3%||24.0%|
|Find sports-related information||NA||NA||43.2%||45.3%||46.3%|
|View the news||NA||NA||50.8%||53.8%||52.9%|
|Other Internet services||11.6%||34.7%||44.1%||43.3%||48.1%|
|Source: Statistics Canada|
Cell phone ownership is on the upswing in Canada, according to findings from NFO CFgroup, particularly among Web-enabled phones. Incremental growth was measured from November 2001 when 57 percent of adult Internet users owned a cell phone, and 8 percent owned a Web-enabled phone, to February 2003 when 62 percent owned a mobile device, and 12 percent surfed the Web from the handheld.
David Stark, public affairs director of NFO CFgroup, observes that as more online content and services becomes available on mobile handsets, usage will grow. “The main reason people acquire these phones is for email access, but an increasing number say they use them mainly for entertainment or information-driven needs, such as access to directories, news and financial and business information,” Stark commented.
The February 2003 NFO CFgroup survey of more than 1,000 adult Internet users also found that PDA cell phones appeal to 19 percent – up from 15 percent in November 2001 – and 30 percent are interested in videophones. Among those that are interested in either device, 70 percent would like them to be Web-enabled.
Participants in the Yankee Group study revealed that the initial cost of their wireless phone or device was the main reason they selected their current carrier. Once they choose a carrier, 52.4 percent said that improved coverage would be the main reason they would stay loyal to their provider, but less than half – 24.6 percent of respondents – indicated that a decreased service price would be their major reason for remaining loyal.
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