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The Cloud Wi-Fi Traffic Grows By 78 Percent

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Wi-Fi hotspot provider says smartphones account for most traffic, but tablet use will increase in 2015

The Cloud has reported a 78 percent increase in traffic across its 22,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots during 2014 as registered users clocked up 28 billion browsing minutes.

Nine tenths of this was done on a smartphone, but tablet use increased to 21 percent, a figure that the company expects to increase further throughout 2015 as users demand more data-intensive content such as video streaming.

Android use on the network has also increased to 49 percent, with The Cloud’s overall user base growing from nine million to 12 million over the past year.

Wi-Fi (c) marinini, Shuttersctock 2013Connected

The company has expanded its network recently, signing agreements Brighton & Hove Albion football club, Legoland Windsor and University College London and renewing deals with the likes of Caffe Nero and Wagamama. Virgin Media mobile customers can now access free Wi-Fi automatically thanks to another partnership.

“The UK is a digital nation. We spend more money online shopping than any other country and almost 60 percent of us regularly access the internet from mobile devices,” says Roger Matthews, The Cloud’s commercial director. “In business, the digital sector is now worth £71 billion to the UK economy.

“As rich media content becomes more popular, we expect 2015 to bring an increased demand for reliable, high-speed connectivity. Because of this, we believe tech savvy users will start auto-connecting to The Cloud network to save on data. We are an increasingly digital generation and the larger screens that tablets offer are well-suited to content-obsessed consumers who devour everything from movies to gaming,”

Recent research from iPass suggested that the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK will increase from 5.6 million to 14 million over the next five years. The Cloud competes with a number of other providers in the UK such as BT Wi-Fi and O2 Wi-Fi, both of which offer nationwide networks of hotspots.

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