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Poor Home WiFi Driving UK Home Internet Users to Mobile Broadband

Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015 (11:49 am) - Score 1,270

A new survey of 2,000 British adults from Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) has claimed that 1 in 4 people are using a Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G) connection at home in order to get online because their fixed line broadband fuelled home WiFi service is not good enough.

Overall 16% of respondents found that while they are able to connect their mobile devices to home WiFi network, the connection speed was often so slow that they typically opted to use data from their a mobile tariff instead. Similarly 13% claimed they never connect their mobile devices to the home WiFi network and prefer to use mobile data.

GWS also spent 6 weeks using “advanced mobile network testing rigs” in order to gather and analyse data from inside and outside more than 50 houses in London, which it uses to reveal how the primary Mobile Network Operators (MNO) fared when it came to 4G penetration; both outside and inside London homes.

% of time on 4G modes Three UK EE O2 Vodafone
Outside London properties 78% 100% 95% 95%
Inside London properties 55% 85% 91% 87%

The research also asked respondents to identify which tasks were most popular while surfing using mobile data instead of WiFi.

Tasks undertaken using mobile data and not WiFi % of respondents
1 Social media e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter 57%
2 Messaging e.g. Whatsapp, iMessage, BBM 52%
3 Internet shopping e.g. looking for deals, making travel plans, etc 46%
4 Playing mobile games e.g. Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Angry Birds 41%
5 Working from home e.g. answering emails 40%

The survey, which perhaps represents bad news for mobile operators that would much rather be off-loading data from their expensive mobile networks and flushing it down cheaper fixed line connections, further suggests that bedrooms are typically the worst rooms in British houses when it comes to WiFi connectivity and they’re followed by kitchens and living rooms.

However what’s less clear from the research is whether or not a distinction is being drawn between raw WiFi performance and that of the underlying fixed line broadband connection. Some consumers might easily be identifying WiFi as the culprit, even if the actual home broadband connection is to blame.

But if the problem truly is hardware based then buying a better router and or reading our 10 Top Tips for Boosting Your Home Wi-Fi Wireless Network Speeds guide might help.

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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