UK smartphone owners interested in using WiFi to improve coverage

A new survey has found that 74% of owners of smartphone with WiFi would be interested in an application that uses WiFi to improve indoor 3G coverage at home or in the office, according to a YouGov online omnibus survey of nearly 2,200 respondents in the UK.

The survey also showed 80% of these users would be interested in a service from their mobile operator that would give discounted calling when the phone was connected to WiFi.

Additional highlights from the online survey conducted in June 2010, include:
50% of people in the UK who own smartphones with WiFi capabilities use WiFi every day; 40% of smartphone owners who use WiFi say they do so because it is faster for accessing the internet; 50% say because it is easier; one in five respondents (22%) say the most annoying aspect of WiFi is that it only works in some locations, reflecting a desire to use WiFi more broadly; the most widely owned smartphone (with or without WiFi) in the UK is the iPhone (33%) followed by Nokia (20%).

“Consumers in the UK are clearly interested in taking more advantage of WiFi on their smartphones in order to improve mobile service and save them money,” said Mark Powell, vice president and general manager of Kineto’s Client Business Unit. “Mobile operators have distinct market opportunities to reduce churn, improve service quality and keep customers satisfied by enhancing their use of WiFi.”

These survey numbers are in line with a January 2009 survey of more than 2,700 WiFi users in the UK and Europe conducted by Decipher, on behalf of Devicescape. According to those results, the overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using WiFi over 3G for browsing web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending email; 82%of respondents want their service provider to provide an overall 3G/WiFi data package.

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