More Brits use public WiFi this Christmas
New figures have shown that more Brits than ever logged on to public WiFi hotspots this Christmas as they used their smartphones and tablets to seek out bargains in the sales and update their social media accounts.
High street WiFi provider The Cloud said WiFi usage at its network of hotspots in shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other public places around the UK over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day was three times higher than Christmas last year. In total Brits spent more than 60 million minutes connected to WiFi this Christmas with the amount of information downloaded across the three days up by a factor of 10 since 2009.
Christmas Eve was the busiest day over the Christmas period for WiFi traffic as millions of last-minute shoppers hit high streets and shopping centres. Peak WiFi traffic on Christmas Eve was around a fifth higher than an average week day and four times higher than the same day last year, and reached its peak in pubs at midnight, when people updated their social media accounts as Christmas Day arrived.
Vince Russell, managing director at The Cloud, said: “We used to think Christmas would be a relatively quiet time on our network, but that isn’t the case any more. Even on Christmas Day, our pub hotspots are heavily used. And when the high streets are busy – as they are for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve and bargain-hunters on Boxing Day – the increase in traffic is considerable.
“The reality is that WiFi has become a vital part of the shopping experience now – allowing people to browse the wider internet while in-store to view the shop’s full range and product availability, search for reviews and update their social media pages with details on what they’ve bought.”
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