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September 26, 2008

Mobile broadband overtakes Wi-Fi hotspots

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by David Allen

Mobile broadband has overtaken Wi-Fi hotspots as the service of choice for accessing the internet away from home and office.

A survey by analysts Point Topic found 47% of British people on the go using mobile broadband, compared to 42% using Wi-Fi hotspots.

This is a significant turnaround from last year, when 40% used Wi-Fi and 30% used mobile broadband.

O2 has a 26% market share of mobile broadband, whilst Vodafone and Orange have 20% each, T-Mobile has 14% and 3 has 12%.

However, these figures account for all mobile internet access, not just dongle-based mobile broadband.

When it comes to dongles, Vodafone leads the way with a 24% market share, followed by O2 on 23%, then Orange, T-Mobile and 3.

Oliver Johnson, Point Topic’s chief executive, said effective marketing and a price war between providers has led to a significant increase in mobile broadband take-up.

Despite the competition and marketing, movement between networks is low, with only 10% of survey respondents saying they plan to change provider within the next six months.

Johnson added that within the next year or two, he expects mobile broadband to gain a 60% market share.

However, as mobile broadband take-up increases, the percentage difference between mobile broadband and Wi-Fi hotspots will become irrelevant as most mobile broadband packages offer free access to Wi-Fi hotspots.

Story link: Mobile broadband overtakes Wi-Fi hotspots

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