Three quarters of LTE subscribers in the UK are continuing to use public Wi-Fi networks, with a majority of subscribers saying they would switch to an operator providing Wi-Fi as part of their contract, new research has found.
Infrastructure provider Arqiva commissioned the research, which polled 2,000 consumers about their use of LTE networks and public Wi-Fi. It found the increase in LTE coverage had not affected demand for Wi-Fi.
Among the findings, the report said 76 percent of all respondents continued to use public Wi-Fi, with three quarters of LTE customers also using this technology to connect.
The report said LTE subscribers were more likely to switch operator than 3G customers, with two thirds saying they would change provider if they were offered access to public Wi-Fi.
Nicolas Ott, Managing Director of Telecoms at Arqiva, said: “With constantly connected, digital lives, we’re now demanding the ability to stay online whenever and wherever we are. As the variety of high bandwidth connectivity options increases, we wanted to understand more about consumer attitudes to the costs versus availability between public Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
“Revealing the clear value consumers still attach to public Wi-Fi provision, the results offer some interesting insights for mobile network operators. Aside from indicating a potential churn opportunity, they also named mobile operators as the most obvious provider of public Wi-Fi networks (59%). Operators should therefore look at the connectivity bundle packages they can offer their customers in order to further increase brand loyalty and sales.”
Tom Rebbeck, Research Director at Analysys Mason, which carried out the research, said: “The research shows that consumers see public Wi-Fi networks as a complement to cellular connectivity. The move to 4G doesn’t seem to reduce the demand for public Wi-Fi access – it may even reinforce the demand for high speed networks of all types.”