Mobile Devices Drive Surge in Holiday Season Wi-fi Use

BT says it saw a massive increase in use of its wi-fi hotspots on New Year’s Eve 2012, compared to the previous year. Wi-fi users’ online minutes were up 317 per cent on 2011, and there was also a 260 per cent increase in the amount of data traffic over the network. Additionally, the number of unique users increased by 88 per cent, while the number of sessions – a period in which someone is online via a hotspot – increased by 138 per cent.

Daily wi-fi sessions per user were also well up during December at 3.7, against an annual average of 3.4 sessions per user per day. On Christmas Day, this rose to 4.7. Christmas Day wi-fi sessions were up by 289 per cent, while wi-fi minutes rose by 407 per cent, as record numbers of new tablets and mobile devices were gifted.

BT puts the boom down to this flood of new mobile devices and the wider availability of wi-fi connections. BT Wi-fi hotspots have increased by 40 per cent in the last year across homes, small businesses and larger city centre cafes, hotels and shops.

“With people off work, we expected more mobile logons,” said BT Wi-fi CEO, Andy Baker. “This year’s jump in sessions shows users are more comfortable with their devices, which is ultimately driving demand for wi-fi.”