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WiFi Data Offloading Soars in 2013

Light Reading
Light Reading

As mobile users step up their consumption of video and other traffic significantly, the amount of mobile data getting offloaded to WiFi networks is jumping through the roof, according to a new report.

The report, released Wednesday by WeFi Inc. and highlighted in this infographic, found that WiFi offloading rose by a whopping 875% in the US last year as mobile network operators sought to cope with the growing traffic strain on their networks. The report also indicates that WiFi offloading should continue to grow exponentially over the next five years as WiFi hotspots keep proliferating and smartphones, feature phones, and tablets keep gobbling up more data.

WeFi also found that both cellular and WiFi networks are getting faster in the US. Overall, WiFi networks achieved an 18% increase in speed between the first and fourth quarters of 2013, rising to an average of 4.1 Mbit/s in the top five states. Likewise, cellular networks generated a 28% boost in speed between the first and fourth quarters, climbing to an average rate of 4.0 Mbit/s in the top five states.

The report offers a number of other notable findings as well. Check out this infographic and a corresponding story coming soon for more details.

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User Rank: Lightning
2/17/2014 | 9:10:39 PM
Re: Rural states
The younger crowds are opting to go with just a cell phone instead of having internet hard lined via Comcast or a cable provider in more rural areas. Here in west Kentucky, it's faster to go to a Starbucks in a local hospital than use ATT wifi at a mcdonalds though. McDonald's has a shared 3mbps downlink DSL line at all the locations in the region. Hardly the connection needed to use itunes for an album download.fast food joints wifi are the worst. :-P they're also the least secure. Opting for them where ATT and Verizon have LTE is a pain, but this is one of the poorest states in the nation.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/17/2014 | 7:41:12 PM
Re: Rural states
Sounded like a good theory to me, Liz! But, that also makes sense that those on advanced LTE phones use more WiFi too. I'd be curious to hear where the most usage takes place -- in the home and office or in public hotspots. My guess is it's more prevalent in the home, but I wouldn't expect that to differ by region.
Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/17/2014 | 12:49:05 PM
Re: Rural states
Well that is good to know...thanks for the info!
User Rank: Light Beer
2/17/2014 | 8:30:36 AM
Re: Rural states
Hey Liz,

Don't neccessarily think that there is a link between income levels and Wi-Fi usage , for example, in the US, the carriers that have 4G rolled out see the highest levels of Wi-Fi usage per sub.

A study I think by Mobidia, showed that total data usage on Smartphones consisted of c.80% Wi-Fi and 20% Cellular..




Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/14/2014 | 12:58:23 PM
Re: Rural states
Sarah, I also wonder if the WiFi usage in these areas is higher due to income levels.  If you do not have the income for a cellular phone, you can go buy coffee, sit in McDonalds or your library and use WiFi for free.  WiFi is definitely more necessary to these folks!
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/13/2014 | 10:50:55 AM
Rural states
Interesting to see the list of states where WiFi usage increased the most. Seems like the top ones are more rural areas, where cellular service might be lacking, and WiFi is probably a lot more necessary.
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