News Release

Cisco Study: Mexican Mobile Users Prefer Wi-Fi Networks

Study Identifies Opportunities for Service Providers in Delivering Wi-Fi Services to Mobile Users
Oct 04, 2012

MEXICO CITY – October 4, 2012 – According to a study published by Cisco, Mexican mobile users prefer Wi-Fi networks because the networks are considered faster, more cost-effective and more reliable when connecting to the Internet from smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices and offer better performance and security. The Cisco study titled "The New World of SP Wi-Fi" identifies the nature and size of the Wi-Fi opportunity for service providers and suggests how differentiated Wi-Fi offerings can be monetized to address the explosive growth of connecting mobile device users.

The mobile network traffic in Mexico is expected to increase 23-fold from 2011 to 2016, with Mexican broadband users owning 2.85 mobile devices, a figure slightly higher than for the typical  U.S. broadband consumer, who owns 2.59 mobile devices (source: Cisco VNI research).

Cisco conducted a customer research in Mexico in July 2012 – an online survey of 769 customers, age 18 and over, representative of the Mexican population with broadband access and the research was designed  to understand key customer needs, behaviors and perspectives[i]. The study highlights ways that service providers can create compelling integrated service offerings for Wi-Fi use in the home to deliver their customers a truly mobile experience. Furthermore, the study suggests the need for innovative cloud based or vertical offerings that help provide enhanced retail experiences, remote data storage services, and user content management.

Key findings of "The New World of SP Wi-Fi" study include:

  • Most mobile users are connecting their devices via Wi-Fi at some point, including more than 80 percent of smartphone owners.
  • Approximately 45 percent of laptops, 35 percent of tablets, and 30 percent of e-readers are connecting exclusively through Wi-Fi.
  • On average, smartphone users use Wi-Fi about 40 percent of the time to connect their devices to the Internet.
  • With the exception of smartphones, users would prefer to connect all of their devices via Wi-Fi. Given a choice, 87 percent of laptop users and more than 80 percent of tablet and e-reader owners would either prefer Wi-Fi to mobile access, or have no preference
  • More than 70 percent of mobile users consider Wi-Fi faster and more cost-efficient than any other type of access; about 60 percent believe Wi-Fi is more reliable and offers optimal performance for their applications; and 55 percent think Wi-Fi is more secure, despite the technical superiority of cellular mobility regarding security.
  • More than 80 percent of the people interviewed take advantage of a public hotspot at least weekly, either in parks, streets, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.
  • Very few users are paying for public Wi-Fi. Two-thirds of regular Wi-Fi users enjoy free access to public hotspots, 14 percent access hotspots as part of their broadband subscription, 6 percent as part of a mobile plan, and 8 percent as part of a loyalty program. Business-expense-account-friendly venues such as hotels and airports are the most popular locations used by the less than 5 percent of regular users who pay for public Wi-Fi access.
  • Offering free Wi-Fi can be a way to retain existing broadband customers and to attract new ones from competitors; more than 80 percent of broadband customers indicate that they would be at least moderately likely to switch providers if they were offered free public Wi-Fi, with 64 percent saying that they would be "very" or "completely" likely to switch
  • The survey results seem to indicate that we may be on the verge of a "New Mobile" paradigm—one in which Wi-Fi and mobile networks are seamlessly integrated and indistinguishable in the mobile user's mind. More than 80 percent of consumers were "somewhat" or "very" interested in a proposed offer that provides unlimited data across combined access networks for a flat monthly fee.
  • Among three innovative business models proposed to respondents, the highest interest was expressed for national and international Wi-Fi roaming (85 percent of respondents were either very or somewhat interested), followed by secure Wi-Fi access to remotely stored content (76 percent "very" or "somewhat" interested) and enhanced in-store shopping experience (76 percent "very" or "somewhat" interested).

The New World of SP Wi-Fi study was also conducted in Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

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[i]  This segment represents 31 percent of the total population (according to Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones, COFETEL,  there were 36 million Internet users in Mexico in 2011, predicted by Cisco's VNI to grow to 61 million in 2016).