Wi-Fi delivers almost 80% of smartphone data

Mobile broadband shunned in favour of home wireless and free public Wi-Fi.

Nearly 80% of mobile data is delivered by Wi-Fi rather than 3G, according to new research.

A study by Nielsen, a leading market intelligence company, found that Android smartphone owners transfer 78% of their internet content using a local wireless network instead of mobile broadband from their provider. It could be a public Wi-Fi hotspot or a wireless home broadband set-up.

Between 6pm and midnight, mobile data usage decreases by more than 55% as smartphone owners return home from work and connect to their broadband router.

David Gosen, managing director for digital at Nielsen Europe, said: "Wi-Fi is on average three-and-a-half times more dominant than 3G when it comes to delivering mobile internet data services.

"It peaks around midnight as users gravitate towards social network, driven by their desire to stay connected through all waking hours."

3G traffic peaks around 8am, just before the working day starts, and again at 1pm, as people take a break for lunch, using their mobile data allowance to browse the web and do some social networking.

Using Wi-Fi helps smartphone users save their mobile data for times when Wi-Fi is not available. It is also normally faster than 3G, which uses mobile phone signal to carry internet data.

Earlier this week, train operator Greater Anglia announced plans to install free Wi-Fi hotspots at 100 stations throughout East Anglia and Essex.

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