Research Provides New Insight into the Role of Managed Public Wi-Fi Hotspots for Smartphone Users; Uncovers Very Limited Use

Mobidia's Data Shows Private and Self-Provisioned Wi-Fi Traffic Dominate Smartphone Data Consumption

Feb 21, 2013, 07:00 ET from Mobidia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobidia Technology, Inc., a leading provider of mobile analytics, in collaboration with Informa, a leading analyst firm, today released new research and the fourth part of their popular whitepaper, "Understanding Today's Smartphone Users," which offers new insights and global analysis of smartphone usage trends across cellular, and private and public Wi-Fi networks.

Previous Mobidia research has clearly shown smartphone users rely on Wi-Fi for their primary data connection, with Wi-Fi data consumption two to 10 times that of cellular data consumption. With that level of usage, it is not surprising that the Wi-Fi market has been dynamic over the past 12 months. Incumbents, start-ups and new entrants into the Wi-Fi space, as well as many mobile operators have been battling to establish and maintain market positions and connections to the smartphone users.

Yet, little data has been available on the Wi-Fi usage trends of smartphone users, especially their usage of private vs. public Wi-Fi hotspots. Understanding these trends is critical for both Wi-Fi and cellular providers when making a wide range of strategic investment and business decisions within the mobile broadband marketplace.

Mobidia's data on global Wi-Fi usage in January 2013 highlights the following trends:

  • Smartphone users continue to rely on Wi-Fi as their primary connection. With very few exceptions, such as Japan, users in most developed countries consume well over 80 percent, and often over 90 percent, of their total mobile data on Wi-Fi networks.
  • Smartphone users are heavily reliant on private or unmanaged, self-provisioned public Wi-Fi hotspots, as you would find in many small businesses, for their primary Wi-Fi connections. These Wi-Fi networks consistently accounted for well over 90 percent of the Wi-Fi traffic.
  • As a corollary, usage of managed, public hotspots, as would be offered by Wi-Fi network providers or mobile operators, consistently accounted for very little traffic across all countries analyzed. For example, traffic on these hotspots was just three percent and two percent of all Wi-Fi traffic in the leading Wi-Fi markets - the U.S. and the U.K., respectively.


Source: Mobidia


Source: Mobidia

Mobidia's data can be useful to providers of managed, public Wi-Fi networks as they evaluate the specific strategies, positioning, and pricing of their offerings or consider alternative offerings. And investors, either directly or indirectly in these networks, can also benefit from assessing their strategies in the context of this insight. More specific recommendations can be found in the whitepaper here

"With the industries' largest set of mobile metrics on usage trends, Mobidia is in a unique position to provide insight into both cellular, and private and public Wi-Fi usage on a global level," said Derek Sprat, president and CEO at Mobidia. "Mobidia is pleased to share this data and analysis with the industry so that both cellular and Wi-Fi providers can be well-positioned for success in the marketplace. Our unique data sets, which we make available in custom and standard formats, can help many players in this incredibly dynamic market make the right business decisions."

With a global set of data provided by millions of smartphone users, Mobidia is able to provide mobile operators, vendors, and the global mobile industry ecosystem with detailed and unique insight into subscriber behavior surrounding data- and application-specific usage on all the networks to which smartphones and tablets connect, including mobile cellular (and LTE), roaming and Wi-Fi. The data also includes both aggregate data amounts consumed by and time spent in specific applications and services.

For more information about Mobidia's mobile data, please visit Mobidia's website, where you will find detailed whitepapers, or Mobidia's Blog for periodic updates on data and analysis of mobile usage.

Note to Editor:

Mobidia analyzed data collected January 2013 from millions of global smartphone users to analyze Wi-Fi usage trends. This data was collected on a strictly anonymous and optional basis from a sample of millions of users who have downloaded Mobidia's smartphone application, My Data Manager.

About Mobidia Technology, Inc.

Mobidia develops and delivers intelligent, client-based solutions for enhancing wireless data with leading mobile operators around the world. Mobidia's popular My Data Manager application has been downloaded by millions of subscribers around the world looking to better manage their mobile data usage and data plans. Mobidia offers a white-labeled version of the application to mobile operators for customizing to increase subscriber satisfaction and decrease care costs, to increase the efficiency of up-selling and cross-selling promotions, and to develop a unique view of usage trends across cellular, roaming, and Wi-Fi networks. A cloud-based architecture allows for integration with back end billing and analytics systems. Today, more than 20 tier one operators and OEM's promote, feature, and use Mobidia technology and data (see our list on

Mobidia is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia with local presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information, visit or call 604-304-8640.

SOURCE Mobidia