Cisco: Wi-Fi preferable to cellular in Mexico

Wireless users in Mexico prefer Wi-Fi networks to cellular networks when connecting to the Internet from smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices, according to a new study from Cisco.

In an online survey conducted in July 2012 of 769 adults in Mexico, Cisco ascertained that most mobile users are connecting their devices via Wi-Fi at some point, including more than 80 percent of smartphone owners. On average, smartphone users access Wi-Fi about 40 percent of the time to connect their devices to the Internet.

In addition, 45 percent of laptops, 35 percent of tablets and 30 percent of e-readers are connecting only through Wi-Fi. Most devices in those categories are sold with only built-in Wi-Fi access.

"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," said Cisco.

Wi-Fi is winning fans because it is perceived as faster and more reliable than any other type of access. Further, 55 percent of those surveyed believe Wi-Fi is more secure than cellular, said Cisco

More than 80 percent of the people interviewed take advantage of a public hotspot at least weekly, in parks, streets, coffee shops, restaurants and other locations, said Cisco. 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.

Cisco said 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 Wi-Fi Alliance found similar results in a survey of 1,000 U.S. respondents that it announced in May. That survey shows that 70 percent of U.S. smartphone and tablet users would swap service providers to get streamlined Wi-Fi access while 72 percent said they would be willing to pay for easier Wi-Fi access. In addition, 85 percent of respondents to that survey prefer to connect via Wi-Fi over cellular for at least one common online activity, 83 percent would do more on their device if Wi-Fi were more widely available and 87 percent agreed that they want "greater Wi-Fi availability for my device."

According to Cisco, 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.

For more:
- see this Cisco release

Related articles:
Advanced trials of Next Generation Hotspots slated for Q4
Study: Easier Wi-Fi access could lure smartphones, tablet users
Next-generation hotspot launches to stimulate Wi-Fi offloading
Study: Mobile networks buckling as data usage picks up
Cisco: Global mobile data traffic to increase 18-fold by 2016

Suggested Articles

Skeptics say the risk of a network outage is too high to make 5G remote surgery possible but 5G experts say it’s not as farfetched as it sounds.

Celona is jumping head first into the CBRS arena, targeting enterprises that want a private LTE or 5G network.

One of the players in CBRS that hasn’t been making a lot of noise about its role as a SAS provider—until now—is Amdocs, which once was known for its wireless…