WiFi still growing (and LTE won't stop it)
In fact other research indicates that the total may be far higher than that - it probably depends where you're doing the measuring and whether you're accurately including home WiFi (Homespots). Whatever the exact numbers there's no doubt that WiFi - in its several guises - is carrying a bigger and bigger share of the wireless Internet access load.
According to the research, by UK-based Juniper Research, operators have now got past their WiFi denial and their "don't worry too much it's only offload" stages and are partnering with WiFi network operators to fold next generation "carrier WiFi" into their own offerings to provide a "seamless" authentication process, courtesy, says Juniper Research of NGH (Next Generation Hotspot) and Hotspot 2.0 specifications.
In other words, arrange things so that users won't know or care what network they're actually on as long as they get the speed they need at the price they want.
This "seamless" approach to service delivery, however, is now being challenged. While it may be appropriate for some less cost-conscious demographics it may not be the right approach for everyone - especially the cash-conscious smartphone newbie and anyone who doesn't like giving away free money to mobile telcos.
We'll be expanding on this tomorrow with special reference to why:1. Many users actually like their 'seams' (that way they feel in charge of their access costs).2. Why LTE won't (as is often claimed) claw back all that 'lost' data traffic to the macro network. In fact LTE may well drive greater WiFi use says at least one observer.