Poll: two thirds of mobile users in Russia use SMS

MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Two-thirds of mobile phone users in Russia use the short message service, or SMS, a recent poll conducted by ROMIR Monitoring indicated.

According to the poll, more than half of Russia's adult population, 52%, uses mobile phones and many mobile phone users frequently use additional services offered by communication operators and providers.

The poll also found that 67% of mobile phone users use SMS. One out of five use SMS to access melodies and 17% use the system to acquire images.

Another 15% of the respondents say they use the general package radio system, or GPRS, to access the Internet. One out of ten get weather forecast messages.

Less than 10% of the respondents say they use additional services like WAP-based access to the Internet, SpeedDial, horoscopes, SMS games and foreign exchange rates.

But one-fourth of the respondents say they usually ignore additional services.

The survey indicates that four out of five residents of Russia's southern federal district regularly send and receive SMS messages, making them the most active SMS users of the system.

Residents of the Volga Area federal district lead in accessing melodies (25%) and images (22%).

Residents in Siberia most frequently use other services. More than one-fourth use GPRS to access the Internet, while 22% of the respondents receive weather forecasts. Also, 18% of the respondents in Siberia access the Internet via WAP and 14% regularly receive astrological forecasts.

The poll also found that men utilize additional mobile phone services more frequently than women. According to the poll, 25% of men and only 17% of women accessed melodies via SMS, while 20% of men and 14% of women use SMS to get images. The relevant proportion for GPRS-based Internet access was 19% and 12%. But the poll indicates women use SMS messages more than men do, 69% compared with 66%.

Experts say the younger the mobile phone users, the more active they use various additional services. The poll found that 86% of young people aged 18-24 used SMS messages compared with 34% of people aged more than 60.

Only 8% of young respondents and 60% of pensioners ignored any additional services.

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