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Almost 40 percent of Western Europeans show "sophisticated use of their mobile phones", according to a Forrester survey of over 25,000 European adults.

The analyst's "Europe Mobile Technographics: 2010" report identifies six groups of mobile users in Europe, and Forrester says firms should target their mobile marketing and mobile business strategies accordingly. For its research Forrester conducted a mail survey this year of 25,535 European individuals ages 16 and older.

The groups are defined by the extent to which mobile phone users have adopted mobile data services, the frequency of use of these services, and the level of sophistication of the mobile applications used.

While 12 percent of European adults (22 percent of UK adults) are "SuperConnecteds", accessing mobile internet services at least weekly, the most common group in Europe is the "Communicators", representing 36 percent (38 percent in the UK).

This largest group communicate at least weekly using SMS, or may use MMS (multimedia messaging service), IM (instant messaging) or personal email on their mobile phone at least monthly.

However, 10 per cent (only eight percent in UK) of the European population is still part of the "Inactives" group - those not owning a mobile phone.

The other groups identified in the Forrester report are the "Entertainers", "Connectors" and "Talkers" groups.

"The first step in developing or refining your mobile strategy is to analyse the mobile behaviour of your target audience," says Forrester analyst and report author Thomas Husson. "Keep in mind that these audiences vary dramatically by country, so it is critical to adopt a pragmatic approach and avoid any pan-European frameworks."

For instance, the report notes that just because Communicators primarily talk and use messaging on their mobile phones, this does not mean they should be excluded from consideration by product and marketing strategists.

In fact, 30 percent of European Communicators receive SMS alerts and 6 percent of them would be interested in receiving ads on their mobile phone in exchange for free services.

While Forrester recommends that firms should tailor their mobile strategies to reach out to their target audiences, separate Forrester research published recently revealed only a third of firms have an established mobile strategy.