Global internet usage on mobile and tablet devices has exceeded usage on desktop computers for the first time, according to new research, providing both challenges and opportunities for telcos.
Based on a review of 15 billion monthly page views to 2.5 million websites, web analytics firm StatCounter said mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide in October, compared with 48.7 percent on desktop devices.
Internet usage from mobile and tablet devices stands at over 63 percent in Africa and over 64 percent in Asia.
In Nigeria, for example, almost 84 percent of internet usage is on mobile and tablet devices.
Desktop-based internet usage still dominates mature markets like the UK and US, however, with 55.6 percent and 58 percent shares of total browsing, respectively.
In Europe as a whole, over 64 percent of usage comes from desktop devices.
Aodhan Cullen, CEO at StatCounter, said: "Even in developed markets such as UK and many European countries where desktop internet usage is still ahead, the trend is towards increased mobile and tablet usage.
"This will place increased pressures on carriers and mobile providers as users demand and expect high quality mobile internet access.
"It also provides opportunities for telcos offering Wi-Fi services to hospitality, retail and other customers."
Cullen added that the data underlined the importance for all businesses to optimise their web pages for mobile devices, especially as Google favours mobile-friendly websites in its mobile search results.