European consumers really appreciate Wi-Fi. They make good use of it in their homes and offices – and in coffee shops, stations etc. when on the move. They appreciate it even more when travelling in other European countries, where they would otherwise have to pay significant data roaming charges (using 2.5, 3 and 4 G).
One European policymaker likes to give the example of a regular trip across Europe on which he likes to share photos and thoughts directly online with friends as his journey progresses. A few years ago, when only mobile broadband services were available (3G), he found that his mobile bill amounted to around 600 Euros. Now, thanks to the blossoming presence of Wi-Fi in coffee shops across Europe, his data charges have fallen to a mere 6 Euros.
A recent study ordered by the European Commission found that over 70% of data traffic to tablets and smartphones reaches the devices via Wi-Fi – the rest being carried by mobile broadband networks. The Wi-Fi share is set to grow as the total volume of traffic rises, substantially over the coming years. You can read a summary of findings from the study here and the full report here.
If you would like much greater detail on the Wi-Fi/mobile broadband data share, then the Mobidia whitepapers on this topic will not disappoint.
A related report on Carrier Wi-Fi® for mobile operators was produced by Monica Paolini, at Senza Fili, for the Wi-Fi Alliance. This illustrates the savings that operators can make when a greater share of the data traffic is carried over Wi-Fi, instead of having to provision greater capacity in the wide area network.