Social networking tops use of mobile phone data services, survey finds

A survey carried out by the Malta Communication Authority in 2017 found that 97% of the population owns a mobile phone, 66% of which are smartphones

Almost everyone owns a mobile phone, according to a survey by the MCA
Almost everyone owns a mobile phone, according to a survey by the MCA

Social networking remains the topmost use of mobile phone data services, followed by internet browsing, a survey by the Malta Communications Authority found.

The findings also show a substantial increase of people using data services to access news on their mobile phone.

The results of the survey conducted in 2017 among 963 respondents, were released this morning by the MCA.

The findings show that 97% of the population own a mobile phone, an increase of 12 points over 2015. Of these 66% owned a smartphone.

The survey found that 55% of those with a mobile subscription used data services.

When asked about the use of data services, social networking came out on top with 76% indicating it as their preferred use. This represented an increase of two points over the 2015 results.

Second in line came internet browsing with 74%, an impressive 45-point jump in two years.

Emails came in third with 56%, a decrease of four points, while news stood at 45%, a 16-point increase.

The number of users that use content apps like Netflix, Spotify and YouTube, stood at 26%, a 15-point increase on 2015.

The findings also found that Facebook messenger and Whatsapp were the favourite chat tools.


Preferred communication using mobile phone:

41% voice calls

33% SMS messaging

21% mobile data services

4% other


61% pre-paid top-up cards (79% in 2015)

35% post-paid contract (22% in 2015)

4% hybrid

What customers look out for in mobile phone plans:

48% good customer care service

38% plans that are of most value

31% follow what relatives and friends do

What customers spend on mobile telephony services:

63% spend less than €20 per month

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