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Google: Olympics spurs mobile search

08 August 2012, 13:19 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Mobile search is growing exponentially as users are increasingly utilising wireless tools to find information on the internet, data has showed.

Google on Wednesday revealed that during the London Olympics, there was a spike in searches done on mobile devices.

"We've seen large spikes in global mobile search volume during recent major sporting events, like the Super Bowl, and the Olympics certainly continued this trend - in its first week, Olympics related searches on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) grew by 10x from the previous week," wrote Dai Pham and Adam Grunewald of Google Mobile Ads Marketing on the Google blog.

Users are often exhibiting behaviour of turning to mobile devices to search for information on what they're watching on TV, the data showed. Searches for Paul McCartney surged during his performance of Hey Jude at the end of the opening ceremony.

Searches in Europe were at a particularly high volume, Google said.


"European countries showed especially high mobile search volume with most countries having one-third or more of their Olympics-related searches occurring on a tablet or smartphone.

"In some European countries this number was substantially higher - in the UK, 46% of Olympics searches happened on mobile.  In Asia, South Korea (36%) and Australia (45%) saw mobile search volume spikes, while Japan (55%) was at the front of the pack."

The data also revealed that tablets increased dramatically in search volume in island nations that serve as tourist destinations during the Olympics.

"A possible explanation? Large numbers of tablet-toting tourists on summer vacation. Tablets have emerged as an important way of staying informed and connected for travellers, as well as for finding local information," wrote the Google officials.

While mobile data consumption has spiked all over the world, pricing remains key and South Africans are not getting the best deal, research has found.

Broadband spectrum

"The fact of the matter is that we don't have an as highly competitive market as they have in many other African countries, nor as effective regulation. Instead we have what is essentially a well-entrenched duopoly, which is not regulated in support of late entrants or consumers," said Dr Alison Gillwald, executive director at Research ICT Africa.

The GSMA has called on governments in developing countries to move forward with the allocation of mobile broadband spectrum.

"Across all of Sub-Saharan Africa, by releasing the 2.6GHz digital dividend band for mobile broadband, by 2016, this could create an additional $82bn per year in net GDP [gross domestic product] across the region," Peter Lyons GSMA director for spectrum policy in Africa and the Middle East told News24.

- News24


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