EE says it goes down, Devicescape says it goes up
It would seem logical that once consumers get their hands on a 4G device and realise just how fast applications such as video streaming can be, then their use of Wi-fi hotspots should decline. That certainly seemed to be the case in the recent experience of EE (formed from T-Mobile UK and Orange UK). In its recent 4G Mobile Living Index (well worth a read here), almost half of users are using fewer or no public Wi-fi hotspots since signing up to 4G. This is completely the opposite finding from a comprehensive study – carried out by Devicescape, which analysed Wi-fi usage. The results clearly show that, on average, Wi-fi usage doubles for consumers with 4G subscriptions. So can we only ponder why the findings were so different?
Devicescape claims it compared wireless data usage on 4G smartphones versus 3G smartphones across a wide array of 4G deployments.
Since Devicescape gathers data from US and European based networks, it can only hint that it thinks the difference is that the UK’s 4G market is ‘less mature’.
After all, EE has only been gathering data for something like ten months. GoMo News believes that EE might argue something more different as the reason for lower Wi-fi usage.
EE proudly proclaims that with its customers experiencing average speeds of 24 to 30 Mbit/s over 4G, why would they bother with Wi-fi?
Additionaly, it argues that its 4G network is not only the fastest in the UK, but also faster than similar networks in the rest of Europe, the USA and even Japan.
So much for other markets being maturer, then? Or is it because there are fewer users sharing the bandwidth on EE?
That seems unlikely given that EE has just reached its own target of achieving one million 4G customers four months ahead of schedule. The original target was before Q1 2014.
Nonetheless, Devicescape’s study showed that Wi-fi usage increases dramatically, as users upgrade from 3G to 4G.
On average 4G smartphone users consume 2.1 times more mobile data per month and 2.0 times more Wi-fi than 3G Wi-fi.
Devicescape collects its data from Android handsets running either its DataSaver app or Curator Service client app in countries where its Curator service is commercially deployed such as the USA and Europe.
This might be the clue. Perhaps those with a Devicescape app can find a hotspot better than the average 4G EE handset user?
GoMo News is, of course, a big fan of The Cloud Wi-fi hotspot network in the UK. Not only because we alos have an app to find the nearest Wetherspoon pub (which uses The Cloud) but because we run a fast sign-in app for The Cloud called fast Connect.
Co-incidentally, The Cloud is actually part of BSkyB and this weekend, in the UK the Formula One (F1) races from Singapore are only being shown live on Sky (not the BBC).
This might just account for the fact that Sky Go is the third most popular TV service on EE with 17 per cent only just behind Netflix with 18 per cent and trailing the BBC’s iPlayer with 29 per cent.
We’d bet that Sky Go will overtake the iPlayer this weekend as who wants to watch the F1 highlights using iPlayer when you can see them when you get home on TV?
Another curious discovery is from EE usage at the Glastonbury music festival. EE found that its users were sharing pictures of their tents and videos of the bands playing with their friends.
Shame there isn’t similar data for GoMo News‘ favourite music festival – WOMAD.