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Mobile Web usage still on the rise: Opera

There has been a major jump in usage, page views and data transfers for Opera Mini this month, implying that mobile advertising and content will grow into quite significant markets, according to Opera's latest mobile Web report.

In March 2009, more than 23 million people used Opera Mini, a 12.1 percent increase from February 2009 and more than 157 percent increase from March 2008. Those users viewed more than 8.6 billion pages in March 2009.

"I think the important take away from this report is that people are browsing and the interesting thing is that as we add more and more people accessing the mobile Web, the page views are growing as well," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO at Opera. "The fact that people are accessing the Internet from their mobile phones means that mobile advertising will be a significant market."

Since February, page views have gone up 17.4 percent, Opera reports.

Year over year, page views have increased 255 percent.

The growth in data transfers also highlights the value Opera Mini offers to carriers. In March 2009, Opera Mini served 148 million megabytes of data to handsets worldwide.

Since February, the data consumed went up by 19.3 percent.

Data in Opera Mini is compressed 90 percent on average. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed nearly 1.4 PB of data in March. Since March 2008, data traffic is up 319 percent.

A surge of Opera Mini usage in Nigeria pushed that country into the top 10, displacing Germany.

In the Latin American region, Chile surged from ninth to first overall as unique users of Opera Mini in Chile jumped more than 3,200 percent year over year.

In the same time frame, page views grew almost 26,000 percent. Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela followed.

This month's report also looks at one 24-hour period to see how Opera Mini is used throughout the day in the top 10 countries.

"Users are browsing all times of the day," Mr. von Tetzchner said. "There are, of course, slight spikes at various times such as during the afternoon and after work hours, but people are browsing the Web at all times, even at night."

Opera measured usage according to data transferred.

In all but two of the top 10 countries, the highest level of Opera Mini use is at the tail end of the day -- from 8pm to midnight. In Indonesia, Opera Mini is used most between noon and 4pm. In China, Opera Mini is used most between 8am and noon.

An interesting finding was that the mobile Web is booming in Latin America.

From March 2008 to March 2009, overall page views in the top 10 countries listed increased 673 percent. From March 2008 to March 2009, overall unique users in the top 10 countries listed increased 164 percent. From March 2008 to March 2009, overall data transferred in the top 10 countries listed increased 510 percent.

Examining the top sites, Google, Live and Facebook all do well in Latin America.

"As millions of people each month discover the Web through Opera Mini, content providers have an incredible opportunity to seize competitive advantage in this new medium," Mr. von Tetzchner said. "By simply ensuring their content works on any device, they will open themselves to the next generation of Web users."