The number of states that offloaded at least 90% of their mobile data traffic to WiFi networks rose 875% in 2013, from four in 1Q 2013 to 39 in 4Q. Mobile apps are contributing to the surge in mobile data traffic volume, with ESPN, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify and Vine making up the top 5 downloaded mobile apps in 2013, according to WeFi’s Quarterly WiFi Analytics report. WeFi offers WiFi network management and maintains what the company says is the world’s largest hotspot database. The database currently has nearly 200 million hotspots.
Among the report’s key takeaways:
- Wi-Fi networks were 18 percent faster in Q4 with an average speed of 5.1 Mbps compared to Q1 when the average speed was 4.1 Mbps (based on average of states with the top 5 fastest speeds in Q4 compared to Q1 2013);
- New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Washington and Pennsylvania ranked in as the top five states with the fastest Wi-Fi connections in Q4 2013;
- Cellular networks were 28 percent faster in Q4 2013 with an average speed of 4.0 Mbps compared to Q1 with an average speed of 2.9 Mbps (based on average of states with the top 5 fastest speeds in Q4 compared to Q1 2013;
- Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Kansas ranked in as the top five states with the fastest cellular connections in Q4 2013;
WeFi also released its “WeFi Pulse Report” on mobile data and wireless connectivity trends. Among the key findings:
- The NFL Mobile App was the most popular app
- WeFi analyzed the use of social media apps including during New Year’s Eve 2013 in Los Angeles and New York;
- Instagram earned the crown of New Year’s Eve 2013 Social Media Data Hog, beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat
- Throughput affects app usage: During the regular season, the NFL Sunday Ticket app offered a superior experience compared to NFL Mobile based on a review of the overall throughput or data speeds consumers experienced using the application. However, when the NFL Sunday Ticket app throughput dropped during the playoffs, consumers decreased their usage of the app.
“These findings point to a positive trend of increased mobile data consumption and usage of Wi-Fi networks. However, usage is sporadic as mobile technology allows consumers to access information irrespective of place and time,” WeFi chairman and CEO Zur Feldman was quoted as saying.
“While service providers are eager to address this demand, due to the irregular usage patterns of consumers, they are challenged with identifying exactly what resources are needed and when to deploy them. Insights from these quarterly and trend-based reports, combined with our patent-pending technology for predicting usage, enables service providers to better plan their networks and provide their subscribers with an always best connected experience.”