Opera Sees Mobile Traffic Grow 463% - InformationWeek

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Government // Mobile & Wireless
12:49 PM

Opera Sees Mobile Traffic Grow 463%

The company's Opera Mini browser is gaining popularity in countries with low broadband rates, but it's also popular with BlackBerry users.

While Opera Software may only hold a small percentage of the desktop browsing market, the company is dominant in the mobile browsing market, and its Opera Mini users viewed more than 5.7 billion pages in November.

According to the company's latest State Of The Mobile Web report, overall data traffic has increased 463% since last year. Opera has also seen page views go up 303% from November 2007.

Opera provides a few mobile browsers, and its Opera Mobile is well-suited for high-end smartphones like the HTC Touch Diamond. But the Opera Mini browser has seen rapid adoption around the globe because it has been designed to operate on low-end devices. Opera Mini compresses Web pages through the company's servers before sending them to the phone, making the transfer time quick no matter the network conditions.

"The numbers are clear: The mobile Web is growing around the world, even in countries where broadband penetration is high," Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement. "But the real promise of the mobile Web is in connecting those who do not have broadband readily available. The next billion will use the Web first on their mobile phones. Once that happens we will finally both unleash the vast potential and realize the benefit of the mobile Web."

In the United States, social networks were a popular destination for mobile Web surfers as Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster ranked in the top 10 most-visited sites. Other destinations in the top 10 include Google, Wikipedia, CNN, and The New York Times Web site.

BlackBerry was a popular handset for Opera Mini, as five of the top 10 handsets for November were from Research In Motion. The recently released BlackBerry Bold made an immediate impact and was the fourth-most-popular handset preferred by U.S. Opera Mini users.

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