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More than half of New Zealanders are now accessing the Internet via a mobile phone, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The total number of mobile phone subscriptions increased by a third to more than 2.5 million over the past year. “Smartphone use is rising quickly and people are increasingly connecting to the Internet using these devices wherever they go,” said information and communication technology statistics manager Hamish Hill. “Using the Internet to shop, look for places to visit or even watch their favourite tv shows is becoming a part of everyday life for kiwis.”

Internet service providers have increased their data caps, so there is more choice and flexibility when surfing the web on fixed broadband connections. The total number of subscribers with data caps of 50 gigabyte (GB) or more increased by almost 800 percent this year, while those with no data caps increased by more than 270 percent. “The average subscriber uses an estimated 16GB of data per month which is equivalent to streaming about 142 episodes of Shortland Street”. This is almost double the monthly use this time a year ago. Statistics NZ produces a range of Information and communication technology (ICT) surveys. Results for the ICT supply, the Business Operations Survey, and the Household Use of ICT Survey will be released from March 2013.