Category Archives: Wi-Fi

Are fixed and Wi-Fi actually losing ground to mobile?

During the early days of 5G, the mobile industry was sometimes caught saying that mobile – with the help of 5G – would kill Wi-Fi. That hasn’t happened, obviously. Usage of public Wi-Fi hotspots would likely decline if more users had mobile data plans that are unlimited in volume. T-Mobile suggested it in this blog post from December 2021.

Blog from T-Mobile US mentioning that 13% fewer Magenta MAX users are connecting to Wi-Fi.

But even if so, few users would stop using their Wi-Fi at home. Home is where Wi-Fi connects automatically and where a majority of usage takes place.

Ironically, the greatest use case for 5G so far is to substitute fixed broadband. 5G has encouraged many MNOs globally to, for the first time, seriously push fixed wireless access, or FWA, services using their mobile networks. Why is it ironic? The mobile industry has for more than a decade specified and built 5G, the most advanced and best mobile technology so far, but its primary use case to date is fixed. Sitting still.

Airtel India’s Xstream AirFiber.

While FWA could substitute a fixed broadband connection, especially DSL and cable, it does not substitute Wi-Fi, though. The FWA router converts 5G into Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi, not 5G, remains the interface to the connected devices in the home.

So while we, already, are tired of our own headline and the whole notion of “Wi-Fi vs. 5G”, we need to check the facts. After all, we are Tefficient and believers in data.

Continue reading Are fixed and Wi-Fi actually losing ground to mobile?

Is mobile eating fixed’s lunch?

In our latest mobile data usage and revenue analysis, there are 43 countries. Of these, 27 are European. And among these, about half (13) of the regulators are not just reporting the mobile data traffic but also the fixed broadband traffic.

It allows us to compare the two and answer the question “is mobile eating fixed’s lunch?”

Split between mobile and fixed data traffic – Austria (#1 in mobile share) and the UK (#13)
Continue reading Is mobile eating fixed’s lunch?

Mobile data consumption continues to grow – a majority of operators now rewarded with ARPU

Taiwan: Unlimited is so last year – Korea: 5G boosts usage

Tefficient’s 24th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 115 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in 1H 2019.

The data usage per SIM grew for all; everybody climbed our Christmas tree. More than half of the operators could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth for the first time a majority is in green. Read our analysis to see who delivered on “more for more” and who didn’t.

Speaking of which, we take a closer look at the development of one of the unlimited powerhouses Taiwan. Are people getting tired of mobile data?

We also provide insight into South Korea the world’s leading 5G market. Just how much effect did 5G have on the data usage?

Continue reading Mobile data consumption continues to grow – a majority of operators now rewarded with ARPU

Public Wi-Fi: Lost in transition to 5G?

Two years ago, telcos were still proudly reporting their progress in utilisation of their own public Wi-Fi hotspots for cost efficient offloading of mobile data. Public Wi-Fi was also positioned as an investment in a better customer experience – especially in public indoor environments. Telcos that were late with 4G – such as in Taiwan and Belgium – could utilise their public Wi-Fi to bridge the transition from 3G to 4G.

You can find this in our telco Wi-Fi analysis from September 2016.

But something changed. Continue reading Public Wi-Fi: Lost in transition to 5G?

With the all-digital Dot, Telia puts an end to ‘one size fits all’

Those of you that read our series of international mobile data analyses know that Finland is the country with the highest average mobile data consumption in the world.

Truly unlimited mobile data is a key explanation to this: 66% of Finland’s mobile subscriptions (excl. M2M) had unlimited mobile data in June. As a direct consequence of this Finns have developed a readiness to try out new apps and services at any location and at any time – as they never have to consider the data consumption or the associated cost. The habit of ‘Wi-Fi hunting’ is not spread in Finland.

Because of the unlimited model, mobile has also come to substitute fixed in many households. The average Finn had 1,72 mobile subscriptions in December 2017 – much more than the Nordic neighbours: Continue reading With the all-digital Dot, Telia puts an end to ‘one size fits all’

“More for less” tips the balance

Mobile data usage and revenue for 35 countries

This is tefficient’s 17th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data.

Mobile data usage is still growing in all of the countries covered by this analysis. The growth rates are very different and so are the usage levels. Finland tops the charts in usage – but not in growth.

Data-only is a clear driver of usage. Austria emerges as the fixed-line substitution leader. In Korea, the share of data traffic on 4G has now effectively reached 100%. In mature markets, the 4G upside on data usage is mainly a thing of the past. Continue reading “More for less” tips the balance

Speaker at Wi-Fi World Congress Europe 2017

Analysis & go-to-market 2017

Preparing and presenting “How carriers are using Wi-Fi to boost their businesses” for attendees at the Wi-Fi World Congress Europe in The Hague 2 November.

The presentation covered:

  • The latest stats on mobile data usage per country
  • A reflection over what EU’s Roam Like at Home implementation has meant for Wi-Fi
  • Stats on smartphones’ time distribution between Wi-Fi and cellular per country
  • A comparison between fixed and mobile data usage
  • The unlimited mobile data trend
  • Three reasons why operator Wi-Fi still is relevant – video subsidisation, indoor coverage and cost
  • Operator Wi-Fi deployment stats from around the world
  • Wi-Fi stats from Hong Kong and Korea
  • Key takeouts

The conference organisers summarised the presentation in this live post: LIVE from The Hague: The Wi-Fi vs. Mobile debate

If you’d like to see the full presentation, it has now been made available also on video:

Is high mobile data usage cannibalising fixed?

We have published numerous analyses on mobile data usage. The two latest are:

Our readers also know that we follow operator Wi-Fi closely, see e.g. this piece.

At tefficient, we believe that the world is (or is about to become) mobile-first. But it doesn’t mean that the mobile networks will carry most of the traffic. In contrast, as shown in this post based on OpenSignal data, the regular smartphone user is most often more on Wi-Fi than on mobile networks. And when the smartphone is on Wi-Fi, the traffic volume is often higher since fixed broadband users seldom have to worry about data caps. Mobile operating systems are also set up to prefer (or in the case of upgrades, mandate) Wi-Fi. All Wi-Fi traffic ends up on the fixed access network, not on the mobile access network.

We don’t take a side in the tiring conflict between the cellular camp and the Wi-Fi camp and will continue to argue that it’s not cellular or Wi-Fi, it’s cellular and Wi-Fi. It’s not licensed or unlicensed spectrum, it’s licensed and unlicensed.

For this post we have, for the first time, gathered reported fixed data usage stats from regulators and operators globally to try to answer two questions:

  • Are countries with low mobile data usage having higher fixed broadband usage? I.e. is fixed broadband compensating?
  • Are countries with high mobile data usage having lower fixed broadband usage? I.e. is mobile ‘cannibalising’ fixed?

Continue reading Is high mobile data usage cannibalising fixed?

The luxury of the commodity gigabyte

Data usage, traffic and revenue per GB for 111 operators

This is tefficient’s 16th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data.

It is an add-on to our just-published analysis “More for more” isn’t happening which compares 33 countries.

In this analysis we compare operators. We have ranked 111 of them based on: Continue reading The luxury of the commodity gigabyte

Unlimited pushes data usage to new heights

For the 14th time: tefficient’s famous data usage analysis – now covering 32 countries

The mobile data usage continued to grow in 2016, but the growth rates varied much. Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Hungary grew the slowest whereas Lithuania, Turkey, Austria and Korea grew the fastest.

In Lithuania, Austria and Korea, premium unlimited plans were introduced and the effect on data usage has been similar to what our previous analyses identified for Finland and Latvia.

The data usage top list is dominated by operators that offer unlimited: The world leader had an average usage per SIM of 9.9 GB per month. Continue reading Unlimited pushes data usage to new heights