UK Android smartphone users access almost 80 per cent of their mobile data over wifi networks, according to research from Nielsen. In a study of some 1,500 Android users with a metering app installed on their devices, Nielsen found that wifi offload varied considerably depending on the time of day, but averaged 78 per cent.
The practice peaks between 11pm and midnight, Nielsen said, during which time 90 per cent of data transferred to and from participants’ devices was carried over wifi networks. The use of 3G cellular networks peaked just before the beginning of the working day, the firm said, again during the lunch hour and once more during prime commuting time.
Nielsen said that, while cellular network statistics taken in isolation suggest a decrease in mobile data use between 6pm and midnight of 55 per cent, the inclusion of wifi statistics shows an increase of almost 30 per cent.
“Wifi is on average three-and-a-half times more dominant than 3G when it comes to delivering mobile internet data services,” said David Gosen, managing director for digital at Nielsen Europe. “It peaks around midnight as users gravitate towards social networks, driven by their desire to stay connected through all waking hours.
“Previously, the main insight into the volume of mobile traffic came from the networks’ own records. Now, with Nielsen Smartphone Analytics we can complete the whole consumer picture.
“The implications for all stakeholders in the industry are enormous in terms of being able to show the total level of demand for mobile data, the drivers of that usage, and how it varies by operator and application type.”