Mobile web surfing is the same as web surfing

Martin Halvey, Mark T. Keane, Barry Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The underlying characteristics of the mobile Web and its usage patterns with respect to that of regular Web are discussed. There are fundamental differences between the WAP phones designed to access the regular Web. The screen real estate is an obvious difference with PCs offering display sizes, any order of magnitude larger than a typical mobile phone screen. There is much greater diversity in the capabilities of mobile phones in terms of display resolution, color capability, operating system features, and browser functionality. Mobile have also limited input capability as their keypads allow only minimal text entry compared to the mouse/keyboard on the PCs. Power Law or Zipf Distribution is used for finding the probability of a group surfing at a given level scales. It is concluded that the surfing patterns of WAP portals reflect the same strong regularities found in Web surfing and thus the Universal Law of Web Surfing is also the Universal Law of Mobile Web Surfing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalCommunications - ACM
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • browser functionality
  • display sizes
  • WAP phones
  • power law
  • mobile phone screen


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