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back to article Smartphones eclipse laptops as top WiFi hogs

Two out of five devices using public Wi-Fi networks are smartphones according to new figures. Laptops nipped in just below, accounting for 39 per cent of connected computers, tablets lag behind at 17 per cent, and the rest are unidentified. The numbers come from the Wireless Broadband Alliance, which got them from biz research …

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"using cellular merely to fill in gaps"

"using cellular merely to fill in gaps" - quite. But try telling that to the vocal minority on giffgaff who consider it their enshrined right to download gigabytes per day over 3G, and who stormed off in a huff when the tariffs were adjusted to make that at least remotely sustainable for the more reasonable masses...

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Mind the gap!

And now 4G is being rolled out. Of course the companies involved claim it will do more than 'fill the gap' but the realists might say that it's just about capable of doing that.

Time will tell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "using cellular merely to fill in gaps"

The sustainability is partly a function of your network operator, and partly of user density. I have limitless 3G and just hauled 2 DVDs through it (Dragon Dictate and OpenSuSE) which comes through at a frankly insane speed - yet that is normal where I live (not in the UK).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mind the gap!

I can't actually see the point of 4G other than the next phase of flogging kit because people so desperately want to spend money on being seen to have the latest. I mean, even 3G isn't everywhere yet - how about fixing that first?

Having said that, it's amazing how much battery life you get when you kill off 3G connectivity - following that data I'm not entirely sure I ever get my phone fully charged if would run on 4G ..

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Re: Mind the gap!

I doubt there will be that much 3G expansion now - and it's not for 100% money grabbing reasons. As I understand it, there were significant technical issues with expanding 3G coverage any further, which 4G by some magic was able to overcome, hence why that's seen as the way ahead and where the investment is being made. But I'm buggered if I'm paying for it! Wi-fi and 2G most of the time is enough for me, ta. :)

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Filling in the gaps only?

Are you guys over in the UK that awash in free hotspots which your phones automatically connect to and which work, that you can use cellular data only to fill in gaps?

Over here, in geek central on the east coast (Cambridge MA, right near MIT)...

60-75% of the AT&T wifi hotspots that my phone automatically connected to didn't have any connectivity forcing me to turn off autoconnect (since it won't fall back to 4G when connected to an AT&T notspot)

Almost all of the non-AT&T free wifi hotspots require you to clickthrough a terms of service page. Unfortunately, about half of these pages are designed for non-mobile browsers, and even on my galaxy note, the page is unpleasant to work with. I encountered one that just redisplayed the clickthrough agreement, regardless of how many times I clicked through it. That tech that's going to be in the new ultrabooks to automatically log into these cannot come soon enough. Worse still, some of these hotspots require a login from the cashier in order to connect, some have timelimits. And THEY ARE ALL SLOWER THAN MY CELL CONNECTION!

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