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Android users flocking to Wi-Fi instead of mobile network data

August 26, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

WeFi, an international Wi-Fi connection service, just released a report stating that Android users have been turning to Wi-Fi over 3G in recent months.

According to Jason Silberman, a spokesman for the company, “The data was collected through analyzing data from WeFi’s over 5 million end-users on various platforms and through WeFi’s database of over 60 million Wi-Fi access points recorded.”

It seems that due to the increasing traffic on mobile broadband, Android users have been trying to consume their data over Wi-Fi.  This is concurrent with a number of locations recently making their hotspots available for free (including Starbucks and McDonald’s).  Also, a number of carriers have stated that if they have not already, they plan to move to limited data plans.

According to the study, a large number of Android users use over 500 MB of data a month on Wi-Fi.  The highest Wi-Fi consuming devices, the HTC Tattoo and the HTC Hero, consumed between 500 MB and 2 GB on average.  The study continues that among all Android devices, there has been an increase in the above 500 MB over Wi-Fi group.

The study also noticed a similar up-tick in Symbian phone internet usage.  However, Symbian phones generally use less than 100 MB a month in Wi-Fi data.

They also looked at netbook and laptop Wi-Fi usage.  Netbooks tended to be more mobile, connecting to a wider variety of networks than laptops, about half of which only connected to one network.

The study did not look at any iPhone usage, though it would be interesting to be able to compare.  This is because Apple does not allow apps that monitor Wi-Fi usage in their app store.

The conclusion of the study was that Android phones connect to the widest array of different Wi-Fi networks, because they are so often used on the go.