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Poor wi-fi coverage forces 1 in 4 Brits to use mobile data at home

Wednesday, July 22nd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

One in four Britons are forced to use their mobile data at home because their wi-fi is so poor, according to a new study.

A poll by mobile network testing company Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) found that 40% of UK adults use mobile data at home.

A quarter of people said they have no choice but to do this because their home wi-fi coverage is substandard.

One in seven (16%) respondents said while they are able to connect their mobile devices to their home wi-fi, the connection speed is so slow they choose to use data from their mobile plan.

13% of Brits never connect their mobile devices to their home network – using wi-fi only for their home PC or laptop.

According to the survey, bedrooms are the worst rooms in British houses for wi-fi coverage, with kitchens in second place and living rooms third.

The most popular task undertaken by people using mobile data instead of a wi-fi connection is the use of social media, with 57% of people eating into their allowance to update their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

52% use their data for messaging services such as Whatsapp and iMessage, while 46% use it for internet shopping.

'Tricks to get online'

41% play mobile games such as Candy Crush using their data and 40% use it to work from home.

Paul Carter, CEO of GWS, said: “Network operators are under a great deal of pressure to improve the UK’s mobile networks and eliminate signal blackspots around the country.

“Most major network operators offer their customers voice-over-wi-fi services as a temporary solution to in-home blackspots, but as our poll shows, wi-fi connectivity in British homes is often too slow or patchy for consumers to reliably access the internet.

“These same wi-fi issues will affect consumers hoping to use voice-over-wi-fi to make calls at home.

“Today’s Brit is adept at switching between wi-fi and mobile data to stay connected while they are out and about, but they shouldn’t have to use the same tricks to get online at home.

“We are using our phones more than ever, and we expect to be able to work, play and shop on our phones while we are at home. How that connection is ultimately made is not important to the average consumer – as long as it’s made.”

Last month, a study by GWS found that 40% of Britons are not able to get a mobile signal somewhere in their house.

The research, which polled 2,000 UK adults, found that 32% ‘regularly’ have issues making and receiving mobile calls from home, while the proportion of respondents that said they regularly experienced mobile internet connectivity issues at home was 30%.

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