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The UK is experiencing a "real evolution" in internet use as a result of 4G mobile broadband, one service provider has claimed.

EE - which in October 2012 became the first UK broadband provider to launch super-fast mobile broadband - said the way consumers use tablets and other connected devices is "evolving".

The broadband provider proposed that, in the ten months since 4G services launched, streaming video to mobile devices "has gone mainstream".

Research conducted by the firm suggests video downloading, uploading and streaming makes up 26 per cent of network traffic over 4G.

YouTube accounts for 14 per cent of overall network traffic, EE added.

"Streaming peaks during morning commute, lunch, evening commute and especially throughout the evening," the broadband provider stated.

It added that people are using 4G devices as second screens or switching to tablet devices in their downtime.

"People are streaming more over devices with big screens like the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which drive 60 per cent more streaming of video data than smartphones," EE added.

Of those consumers surveyed by the firm, two-thirds said they now use 4G mobile broadband for at least an hour a day, with 23 per cent claiming to be online for more than three hours.

Almost 50 per cent of users said they browse the web more on 4G than 3G, and over one in three download apps, use GPS services and access social media more via super-fast mobile broadband.

The EE study suggested consumers choose to use 4G services over Wi-Fi - with 43 per cent saying they have had less use for public Wi-Fi hotspots over the last year.

In a similar vein, 23 per cent of respondents claimed they had used their home broadband less since moving to 4G.

Pippa Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer for Consumer at EE, said the way the firm's customers are using their mobiles and tablets has "evolved significantly" since last autumn when super-fast mobile services launched.

"EE’s introduction of 4G to Britain is giving customers new flexibility and independence. It lets them share more, stream more, and spend more while on the move," she stated.

"EE’s 4G coverage now reaches nearly 60 per cent of the UK. We are entering a new digital era, the era of the ‘always online’ generation."

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