Two thirds of 4G subscribers would switch mobile network if offered inclusive public WiFi access

We have today released consumer research, conducted by Analysys Mason, on 4G users' attitudes towards public WiFi.

Despite its growing popularity, 4G subscribers still see WiFi as highly relevant.

Despite its growing popularity, 4G subscribers still see WiFi as highly relevant.

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The research has revealed that three quarters of 4G subscribers still use public WiFi networks for internet connectivity and two thirds of 4G subscribers would consider moving to a different network provider if they supplied public WiFi access as part of their subscription package.

The Public Wi-Fi in a 4G World report, written by Analysys Mason, which questioned 2,000 consumers on their perception and use of public WiFi services compared to that of cellular networks, found that the move to 4G has not reduced demand for public WiFi infrastructure. The vast majority of respondents continue to use public WiFi networks (76%), and 4G subscribers are only marginally less likely to do so than others (75%).

In fact, 4G users place a higher monetary value on public WiFi connectivity than non-4G users, and 4G subscribers are more likely to switch to a mobile operator that provided public WiFi connectivity as part of their contract than non-4G users.

“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 WiFi and cellular networks.

“Revealing the clear value consumers still attach to public WiFi provision, the results offer some interesting insights for Mobile Network Operators. Aside from indicating a potential churn reduction opportunity, they also named mobile operators as the most obvious provider of public WiFi 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.”

“The research shows that consumers see public WiFi networks as a complement to cellular connectivity. The move to 4G doesn’t seem to reduce the demand for public WiFi access – it may even reinforce the demand for high speed networks of all types.”