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Wi-Fi Accounts for 75% of US Mobile Data Traffic

By Alex Braelow

75-percent-of-data-over-wifi

How much data are people using? And how much are they paying for it? These are perhaps the two most frequently asked questions in the wireless industry.

A partnership between Fierce Wireless and Strategy Analytics has added some color to the conversation. They found that roughly 75% of Q2 US mobile data traffic came from Wi-Fi.

This discovery is part of a larger project investigating the difference between Wi-Fi and cellular traffic for US smartphone subscribers. While Fierce Wireless and Strategy Analytics stress that a variety of external factors (i.e., holidays, TV events, movie releases, weather, etc.) can influence fluctuation, the latest numbers indicate a fairly consistent 3:1 ratio of Wi-Fi to cellular data traffic.

The project, which is updated every month, is focused specifically on Android users. It tracks how often these users switch from cellular to Wi-Fi networks, and how this activity differs between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint customers. In addition, it distinguishes between unlimited, monthly, and pay-as-you-go service plans.

Our friends over at Wi-Fi Now have been following along. Claus Hetting, CEO and Chairman of Wi-Fi Now, offers some good analysis on the latest report from Fierce Wireless and Strategy Analytics:

wifi-traffic-fierce-wireless-chart

“When categorised into plan types – meaning monthly data bundles vs. pay-as-you-go vs. unlimited data plans – the picture is starkly different. Except for unlimited plans, the Wi-Fi data consumption is around 90%. Interestingly, 13-14 GB per month seems to be the Wi-Fi consumption figure regardless of operator except in the case of Sprint.

Monthly allowance and unlimited plans also hit roughly the 13-14 GB per month mark – which could indicate that the increased cellular usage for unlimited plans may stem from more usage outside home and office, which are the usual Wi-Fi data strongholds.”

If you’re interested in learning more about this project and want to track the findings, be sure to visit the Fierce Wireless website.