One in ten British kids get their first mobile phone at the age of five, according to a new report.
uSwitch's latest report said that a typical British child gets their first phone by 12, with parents spending about £125 on average, a little more than half of their parents' spending on their own mobile devices.
About 15% of children below the age of 16 years had mobiles worth more than their parents' phones and 11% generated larger bills compared to their parents, the report found.
The report also noted that 42% of parents did not keep an eye on their kids' mobile spending, while 25% of them reported to have caps on their children's contacts.
uSwitch.com telecoms expert Ernest Doku said that as well as arming kids with mobiles for emergencies and peace of mind, several parents have bought their kids smartphones just to stop them commandeering their own when bored.
"Smartphones are getting more affordable all the time, with entry-level models costing as little as £7 per month with a free phone or £29.99 for a SIM-free handset," Doku said.
"So if you do give in to your kids' requests, asking networks to place caps on their mobile bills takes about five minutes and is a very sensible precaution, especially if your child has a data-hungry smartphone.
"Make sure that when they're at home, your kids are browsing the web using Wi-Fi instead of consuming data by connecting to the internet via 3G or 4G."
The report also projects that the age at which several kids have been receiving their first mobile phone would facilitate parents to contact and protect their children by providing an inexpensive mobile device.