U.S. Mobile Customers are Rational Consumers of Network Bandwidth

When evaluating the ways U.S. consumers use Wi-Fi or mobile networks, one must distinguish between sessions, data consumed and average session time.

Session time and data consumption tend to be directly correlated on Wi-Fi, while negatively correlated on mobile networks. In other words, mobile sessions seem to be bursty, short sessions, while Wi-Fi sessions seem to be used for more-data-intensive purposes.

A reasonable person would argue that is a direct result of consumer behavior in response to tariff levels. -

Consumers also seem to be rational. On networks with “lowest perceived cost,” consumers use the mobile network more.

On networks with “highest perceived cost,” users restrict network usage. T-Mobile US and AT&T customers are most likely to use the mobile network, in terms of sessions. Sprint customers use both Wi-Fi and the mobile network about equally, in terms of sessions. Verizon customers rely more heavily on Wi-Fi.

LIkewise, when looking at time connected to either Wi-Fi or mobile networks, customers on high-cost networks tend to rely on Wi-Fi for as much as 51 percent of time connected. On the lowest-cost network (perception), Wi-Fi represents only about 39 percent of connection time.

source: P3 Consulting
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