NMHH survey: two thirds of users browsing the internet on their phones are online day and night

Published: 16 September 2020

A significant part of the Hungarian population (44%) is constantly connected to the internet with their smartphones in their pockets, which they do not disconnect even at night. According to the market survey of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) conducted at the end of last year, about 30 percent of users in their fifties do not use their mobile phones to browse the internet, while this ratio is about 50 percent among those in their sixties and about 60 percent in the 70+ age group.

According to the Authority’s survey, three-quarters of the 14+ population have smartphones, and 60% also have mobile internet subscriptions. However, the proportion of those using the internet on their mobile phones is much higher, amounting to three-quarters of the total population, and nearly a tenth of those using the internet on their mobiles are connected without a mobile internet subscription, i.e. via Wi-Fi.

Who is online?

Taking into account all kinds of mobile internet access, 44% of the population aged 14 and over are continuously online. One in four respondents only goes online when they want to see something specific on the internet. A quarter of the population does not use their mobile phones to browse the internet, and six percent do not have mobile phones.

50-60% of people under the age of 50 are continuously online via their mobile phones, while in case of the generation of fifties this ratio is only around 40%, among those in their sixties about 30%, and in the 70+ age group only 10%. However, about 30 percent of the fifties do not use the internet on their mobile phones, while this ratio is about 50 percent among the generation of sixties and about 60 percent among the 70+ age group, and this is actually the main factor in the difference between the various generations.

For those under 50, the 14-19 age group is a little different from the others probably because parents haven't bought mobile phones for 8% of them, and 14% of the forties age group never use the internet on their mobile phones. Still, it is clear that while 62% of the twenties are constantly online with their mobiles, this ratio is only 52% among high-schoolers. This may also be due to the fact that they do not have their own income, and usually use a smaller subscription package. For example, while 18% of all mobile internet users, including 13% of the twenties age-group, have packages below 1 GB, this ratio is 34% among those under the age of 20 (and another 45% of them have subscriptions for the second smallest package, i.e. between 1 and 5 GB).

Every fourth mobile internet subscriber uses their devices as hotspots

Two-thirds of mobile phone internet users are constantly connected to the internet via their phones. 60% of Wi-Fi internet users and 50% of those with mobile internet subscriptions always have Wi-Fi or mobile internet data connections on. The latter ratio depends on the size of the data packages in their subscriptions: only one third of those with a 1 GB data limit and four-fifths of those with a data limit over 10 GB or with an unlimited quota are continuously connected to the internet.

17 percent of the total population and 26 percent of mobile internet subscribers also use their mobiles as hotspots, i.e. they share their own mobile internet with other devices. A fifth of the total population share their mobile internet with other devices at home, typically with laptops (64%) or other smartphones (43%).

What do we watch on our mobiles and what are the mobiles currently in use capable of?

Around 90% of smartphone users visit social media sites and use search engines (such as Google), nearly 80% use the email, 70% chat and about 60% watch videos and weather reports. Although video and film viewing on the mobile was previously considered impossible and inconvenient due to the small screen size, the majority now prefer this form of entertainment, in fact three-quarters of those under the age of 30. Although many people use chat programs on their phones, the majority (70%) send text messages and fewer (48%) make voice calls with these. At the same time, only about a third of the respondents visit online news portals, and only one in twenty people watch TV on their mobiles.

Three-quarters of smartphone users have 4G-ready mobiles, more than four-tenths use fingerprint protection and another one-fifth facial recognition to unlock their phones. Three out of ten smartphone users said that their mobiles are equipped with NFC technology that allows mobile payment, which, like access cards in office buildings, recognises the mobile when held against a terminal and automatically initiates the payment transaction. In addition, nearly four-tenths of the devices can accept two SIM cards (dual-sim capability), and every tenth person has a virtual, so-called e-sim card on their smartphones.

Background of the survey

The market survey was conducted between 7 November and 10 December 2019 on a nationally representative sample of 3,200 households by way of personal interviews. The interview consisted of two parts: one household interview with a randomly selected adult member of the household and one personal interview with a person of at least 14 years of age. Any possible distortions in the final household and individual samples were corrected by researchers with a mathematical-statistical process of weighting. The survey was prepared by Ariosz Kft. for the NMHH.