Deloitte has called for greater Wi-Fi hotspot provision from mobile operators in the North West, as its mobile consumption report reveals that Wi-Fi has become the predominant source of data connectivity for smartphone and tablet owners.
The research found that the main reasons why smartphone owners use the Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet are faster speeds (52 per cent) and reliability (46 per cent), while 43 per cent see Wi-Fi as a way of avoiding exceeding monthly data allowances.
It was reported that the public sector has acted to improve Wi-Fi connectivity, with Manchester City Council this year submitting a proposal to provide Wi-Fi in all public spaces, while Liverpool City Council has bid for £25m of funding to deliver free Wi-Fi across the city centre and at tourist attractions.
Iain White, head of media at Deloitte in the North West said: “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 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.”
Wi-Fi image via Shutterstock.