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September 24, 2008

Mobiles push Wi-Fi from the internet hotspot

Mobile phones have ousted Wi-Fi hotspots as the nation’s favourite way of accessing the internet on the move.

By Janine Milne

UK mobile operators now have a 47% market share of users accessing the internet, compared to 42% who still prefer Wi-Fi, according to a Point Topic survey. A year ago, the ratio was 40:30 in Wi-Fi’s favour.

Point Topic believes that the mobile operators will continue to steal market share from Wi-Fi because of their size, as Wi-Fi operators tend to be small and their coverage is fragmented. But as Wi-Fi is a lot cheaper and with no capacity problems, users will default to Wi-Fi where it is available.

O2 currently has the lion’s share of mobile network users (26%), followed by Orange and Vodafone with 20% apiece. T-Mobile and 3 claim 145 and 12% stakes.

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