Wi-Fi leads the way for UK smartphone owners
24 July 2012
Wi-Fi has become the predominant source of data connectivity for smartphone and tablet owners according to a new mobile consumption report, by Deloitte, the business advisory firm. 58% of smartphone users and 93% of tablet owners use Wi-Fi most for data connectivity.
Wi-Fi is regarded as faster, more reliable and more responsive by smartphone owners; 43% see Wi-Fi as a way of avoiding exceeding monthly data allowances. The main reasons why smartphone owners use the Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet are faster speeds (52%) and reliability (46%).
UK smartphone owners differ to their counterparts in four other major markets — America, Germany, France and Japan - where cellular mobile is the principal source of connectivity for smartphones.
Wi-Fi is used most at home, but half of tablet and smartphone owners also use Wi-Fi hot spots when out and about. Deloitte estimates that there are now several thousand hot spots in London, and further thousands of hot spots made available to guests of offices, hotels and other venues. The greater the density of Wi-Fi hot spots, particularly in cities, the lesser the need to use cellular mobile for data – at least until LTE arrives.
Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte comments: “What people value from Wi-Fi is a blend of factors, principally faster speeds, better responsiveness, and lower cost. Smartphone and tablet owners are trading off Wi-Fi’s advantages against cellular mobile’s wider coverage. Cellular mobile offers wide access, but in city centres, or other areas with heavy footfall, people may only have to walk a few minutes to locate a Wi-Fi often move to where they can find faster connectivity.
“The popularity of Wi-Fi is leading to growing volumes of ‘Wi-Fi offloading’, where smartphone owners use Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Web rather than cellular mobile. Mobile operators should offer their customers a seamless connectivity experience including Wi-Fi hotspots that their customers can use when they are out and about.”
Other key findings:
Notes to editors
The UK research was conducted by YouGov, based on a survey written by Deloitte, on 9-11th May 2012 with 2060 respondents.
Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2012 surveyed 27,000 consumers from 15 other countries, in May/June 2012.
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
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