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The next frontier for the internet is likely to be the need to cater for mobile devices, an analyst claims.

Elroy Jopling, research director at insight provider Gartner, predicts that facilities such as email and search are likely to need to be ported to a mobile platform as well as being delivered over fixed lines.

His comments come following assertions from regulatory body Ofcom that mobile broadband stands alongside "super-fast" fixed-line internet access as a key area of growth for the industry in the future.

Mr Jopling says: "The internet has become a utility for most consumers, who use it for communicating, gathering information and performing financial transactions."

Gartner recently conducted research which found that email and information gathering remain the two main uses of the internet among consumers, despite uptake of social networking and media sharing.

However, teenagers were found to be more frequently making use of the technology for such sharing than their older counterparts.

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