U.S. Wi-Fi use drops as carriers embrace unlimited mobile data plans

“U.S. mobile phone users are slowly reducing their reliance on Wi-Fi as carriers continue to ramp up their unlimited data offerings,” Paul Sawers reports for VentureBeat. “That’s according to data from OpenSignal, which recently published its second Wi-Fi versus mobile data report.”

During the 90-day period beginning on December 1, 2017, the “time spent by Verizon subscribers on Wi-Fi dropped to 51 percent from 54 percent, while AT&T customers’ use fell to less than half at 49 percent, down from 52 percent on the corresponding period last year,” Sawers reports. “Elsewhere, T-Mobile customers’ reliance on Wi-Fi dropped 2 percentage points to 41 percent, while Sprint remained static at 51 percent.”

Sawers reports, “Put simply, the unlimited data war that kicked off last year has likely had some impact on how users access the internet via their mobile devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sticking to your carrier signal vs. public Wi-Fi is also more secure.


  1. Relative to security, there are networks other than Public Wi-Fi to use.

    Comcast has an extensive closed Wi-Fi network everywhere they have service. If you install the xFinity WiFi app the profile will be installed on your mobile device to allow you access without having to manually log in- this is not the same network as the public WiFi at those locations. AT&T has a similar network of closed WiFi for users of their Woreless service.

    There are still far too many places where the LTE network is at capacity and a WiFi connection will give you a better connection.

    1. This network is also extended as a guest network on customer’s wireless modems and can’t be turned off (at least it was in Little Rock as of last summer) HOWEVER I bought a personal modem to use with an Airport. I had no objections to this (many do) I just preferred my setup.

      1. Exactly why I do not use Comcast’s equipment, but they put in in offices and commercial businesses with Comcast Business internet. Non-customers see it as cable-WiFi or xFinity without a padlock. Then another connection will be seen as xFinity with a padlock.
        With the app installed and logged in, it will connect you to that which is closed-not open.

  2. Not so long ago I was always looking out for WiFi networks and logging in, but since my cellular data allowance has been so much greater, I seldom bother connecting to WiFi networks in trains, transport networks, airports, cafes, hotels and offices because there is no reason not to continue using my cellular connection. Within Europe we now get free data roaming, so my data allowance here in England can be used exactly the same when I’m travelling around Europe.

    I’ve also stopped paying for a data SIM card for my iPad because it’s just as easy to use data sharing via my iPhone. If I’m staying in a hotel where the cellular signal is a little weak in my room, the iPhone can be left by the window where it gets a stronger signal while I operate the iPad comfortably elsewhere in the room.

    The only situation when I regularly log into WiFi networks at work is when I’m at large sporting events and the press room has a WiFi system ( which they almost always do – and press WiFi is never one of those annoying ones where you need to log in by giving your details ). When huge crowds arrive for a big sporting event, cellular reception slows right down, while WiFi remains nice and speedy.

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