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Wireless users 'do more online'

People who use wireless Internet "show deeper engagement with cyberspace," according to an American study. While 54% of Internet users check email "on the typical day," 72% of wireless users check daily. Just under half of wireless users get news online every day, compared to 31% of Internet users at large. The Pew Internet and American Life Project survey asked 798 US Internet users about their wireless habits and sampled almost 2,300 people overall. The report characterised wireless as connecting to the Internet using a wi-fi or mobile network. 'Relentless connectivity' The survey found that the number of Internet users with wireless at home nearly doubled, from one out of 10 in January 2005 to one in 5 by December 2006. About 80% of those with wireless access at home also had broadband Internet. The report speculated that wireless might allow for high-intensity use, which supported the idea that "the key feature of mobile communication is connectivity and not mobility". "Lifestyle circumstances such as one's job may require lots of email connectivity and associated wireless access," the report said. Communications professor Manuel Castells calls this phenomenon "relentless connectivity". Laptops and young people The overwhelming majority of laptop users reported accessing wireless Internet at home or outside the office. According to the survey, about 80% of laptops had wireless capabilities and 88% of laptop users said they had used a wireless network at home. About six in 10 had connected somewhere outside their home or office. Just over a third of laptop users used a wireless network at work. People under 30 were also the most likely group to access the Internet wirelessly. Of those surveyed, 37% of the category had connected wirelessly from any location, 40% have laptops, 26% have wireless networks at home, and four in 10 have Internet-enabled mobile phones. The Pew survey sampled 2,373 US adults, 18 and older between 30 November 2006 and 30 December 2006. Of these, 1,623 were Internet users and 798 of those were given wireless Internet access questionnaires. The margin of error for the wireless questions was 3.8% with 95% confidence, a standard confidence interval. No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.

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