New figures from information and insights firm Nielsen show that people in the UK with Android smartphones transfer 78% of their internet content using WiFi and just 22% over a mobile connection. Unlike network-focussed surveys, these figures have been compiled from a panel of over 1500 adults who’ve installed a Nielsen metering app on their handset.
The survey shows that the amount of mobile data ‘offloading’ - either via commercial WiFi hotspots or home and business networks - starts to increase in the evening from 5pm and reaches a peak between 11pm and midnight, when 90% of data transferred during that hour is via WiFi. Peaks in 3G data usage tended to be just before the working day started, at lunchtime and during the early evening commute; times when users are unlikely to be able to rely on a WiFi connection.
David Gosen, Nielsen European managing director for digital, 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 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.”