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comScore Reveals Mobile Broadband and WiFi Internet Use on UK Smartphones

Thursday, Apr 5th, 2012 (6:37 am) - Score 1,980

Analyst firm comScore has revealed that 13% of iOS (Apple iPhone) and 43% of Android based Smartphone owners in the UK use only Mobile Broadband connectivity to go online, which rises to 87% and 57% respectively when both mobile and WiFi connectivity are used. Interestingly Three UK is the most popular network for mobile-only (3G) internet access, while Vodafone comes top when mobile and WiFi use is combined.

The study clearly shows that a significantly higher percentage of iPhone than Android phones connect to the Internet via WiFi networks. Overall some 69% of total unique Smartphones in the UK browsed the Internet via both mobile and WiFi network connections, which compares with just 38% in the U.S where unlimited” mobile data plans and superfast “4G” technology makes mobile-only services more attractive.

Serge Matta, comScore President of Operator and Mobile Solutions, said:

The difference in mobile and Wi-Fi network usage across the U.S. and U.K. suggests that there are a few factors at play affecting Wi-Fi utilization rates.

In the U.K., the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smartphone pre-paid contracts with a pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage. In addition, the current lack of high-speed data networks in the U.K. might also lead users to seek out higher bandwidth capacity on Wi-Fi networks.

In the U.S., the increased availability of LTE, 4G and other high-speed data networks currently make it less necessary for smartphone users to offload, but it’s also possible that the diminishing availability of unlimited cellular data plans will eventually push more usage to Wi-Fi.”

The results paint an interesting picture of what could happen in the UK as similar services and technologies become as prevalent here as they are already in the USA. But Matta warns that mobile operators can expect to “face new challenges in keeping up with data demands while maintaining their quality of service“. Optimizing resources by picking the right network for the right situation is now likely to become even more important.

mobile smartphone internet use uk vs usa 2012
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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