Dundee is the leading UK city for the take-up and use of 3G devices, according to Ofcom’s latest study of the UK’s communications habits.
The survey of 5,812 people across the UK found that 29% of Dundee’s 143,000 residents own a 3G handset, compared with a UK average of just 17%.
Dundee also had the highest percentage of people using their mobiles to access the web, at 34%.
Dundee and Edinburgh are populated by early adopters, with an above average take-up of broadband and usage of social-networking sites.
One Phones 4u staffer in Dundee attributed the high take-up of 3G devices to a thirst for social networking: ‘A lot of people come in asking for video calling, but people mostly want it for the internet; everyone asks for Bebo.
‘I was speaking to one woman last week who even said her dog was on Bebo.’
Dundee’s figures are also boosted by tech-savvy students at the University
of Abertay in Dundee, which is renowned for its computer courses and is one of the UK’s top investors in IT facilities.
Of the home nations, Wales had the highest take-up of 3G-capable phones at 20% and, despite Dundee’s desire for the devices, Scotland had the overall lowest, at 14%.
At the other end of the UK, just 7% of people living in rural parts of Devon and Cornwall are using their mobiles to go online, compared with a UK average of 20%.
However, the south west, and Yorkshire and Humberside had the joint highest proportion of respondents saying they were ‘very satisfied’ with their overall mobile service, at 70%.
John George, founder and boss of JAG which is based in Cornwall said: 'The overall satisfaction with the current levels of mobile service is most likely due to the many years when our coverage was so bad, so that now with the improvements in recent years it all seems great to us.
'On connecting online, we are still very restricted with the level of service available in our area with limited 3G on many networks and HSDPA very rarely available it is no surprise. However, I am sure once the coverage unfolds we will take advantage of that market.'
Ofcom’s findings also revealed that 12% of UK households now rely on their mobile phone as their sole communication device. The figure is highest in Wales at 19% and lowest in Northern Ireland at 11%.