BT has revealed that New Year’s Eve 2012 saw a massive year on year rise over its BT Wi-fi network – the largest in the UK with more than 4.5 million hotspots. Latest figures show wi-fi users’ online minutes were up 317% on 2011 and megabytes (MBs) used also increased by 260%.
New Year’s Eve saw a spike in the number of unique users – up 88% – while the number of sessions – a period in which someone is online via a hotspot – increased by 138% as people wished their friends and families a Happy New Year, checked travel details and posted photos.
Daily wi-fi sessions per user were also well up during December at 3.7 against an annual average of 3.4 sessions per user per day. On Christmas Day this rose to 4.7. BT puts the boom down to the flood of new mobile devices and wider availability of wi-fi connections. BT Wi-fi hotspots have increased by 40% in the last year alone across homes, small businesses and larger city centre cafes, hotels and shops.
While December is traditionally a quieter month as workers clock off, the main holiday period from 22 December 2012 – 1 January 2013 saw an average year-on-year increase of 289% in wi-fi minutes and a 245% increase in wi-fi MBs. Significantly, Christmas Day wi-fi sessions were up 289% along with a massive increase in wi-fi minutes – up 407% as record numbers of new tablets and mobile devices were gifted.
Andy Baker, BT Wi-fi CEO, said: “With people off work we expected more mobile logons. This year’s jump in sessions shows users are more comfortable with their devices, which is ultimately driving demand for wi-fi.”
BT Wi-fi is free and unlimited for BT Broadband users – although anyone can logon. It’s available at brands like Hilton, Thistle hotels, John Lewis, GAME, Starbucks, as well as millions of homes and thousands of independent businesses.