Chalk it up as another banner quarter for Devicescape. On the heels of growing to over 4 million hotspots globally, Devicescape just released its Q3 2011 Wi-Fi report. What’s interesting about this quarter’s report is that I’m seeing some wavering in service provider loyalty. Being a long-time Verizon Wireless subscriber myself, I assumed that most people were like me and would be resistant to carrier switching. Unless of course it’s a hardware matter such as getting an iPhone but that has become irrelevant since Verizon now carries that smartphone.
Data capping has become more and more of a subscriber concern over the last year with major carriers announcing intentions to get rid of unlimited data plans. Although the reality is that most people don’t come close to the proposed plan caps, the idea of taking away consumer value from their plans is perceived as a hit to the consumer experience. In the Devicescape report, 88% of respondents said that unlimited data plan offers would sway purchasing decisions. If the mobile operators want to avoid carrier switching, they better come up with some solutions and educate their subscribers. Data usage is only going to increase over time as rich content such as movies will get more data intensive.
One obvious and cost effective solution to this potential problem is data offloading. If the network operators can offload data to existing Wi-Fi networks whereby subscribers come nowhere near their data caps, the matter of capping and unlimited plans will eventually become a non-issue. And as a result, subscriber retention will increase.
There are more interesting statistics like this in the current report. Below are other findings we uncovered:
- Almost 82 percent of respondents say that Wi-Fi is very important when it comes to using a smartphone or tablet, while only 4.9 percent say it is not important.
- Wi-Fi takes the lead over cellular networks, with 88 percent of respondents agreeing that rich media such as video runs much faster on Wi-Fi.
- A staggering 82.9 percent of respondents expect their service provider to provide them with a Wi-Fi network.
- Twenty-six percent of respondents are not aware that many service providers are data-capping smartphone plans.
- Wi-Fi hotspots are clearly in demand, with 78.7 percent of respondents relying on Wi-Fi hotspots for device connectivity needs while roaming.
To view the full report, download a copy using the link below.