Almost 98 Percent of Broadband Data Use in USA Homes Will Be Over Wi-Fi by 2018

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Today when LTE subscribers step outside their home, they potentially have a connection to their smartphone that is as fast as the fixed broadband connection in their home. Never before has the in home and out of home broadband experience been as close in terms of throughput.

In-home data usage is a precursor to outside-the-home usage. If a user gets accustomed to streaming music over an in-home cable / WiFi network, then that same user is likely to stream their music when they step outside the home. This, of course, is why wireless operators and device OEMs care about the in-home data usage. Key companies are making a concerted effort to get inside the home while making the user experience as comparable across platforms as possible.

"Today's users expect a world in which they always have high-speed access to anything they want, such as music and information in the cloud," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "And that expectation does not change if the user is inside or outside the home."

To illustrate the range in usage, a Light household (per iGR's definition) consumed approximately 32 GB per month in 2013 of which 21 GB was driven by WiFi. An Extreme household in 2013 consumed approximately 363 GB per month of which approximately 292 GB was driven by WiFi.

Note that the phrase "driven by WiFi" is shorthand for data that originates and/or terminates on a WiFi-capable device. An example might be a smartphone connected via WiFi that is used to watch Netflix inside a home. A desktop computer connected via Ethernet that is used to watch Netflix would count only as wired data usage.

More qualitatively, a Light household would typically have a lower-speed fixed broadband connection, probably only one computer and use the Internet for basic purposes -- email, Web, etc. An Extreme household, by way of contrast, would have a high-speed connection, stream video on a regular basis, play online games, and/or download HD movies several times a month.

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Tags: lte  wi-fi  USA 

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