Reliance Jio’s smartphone users spend very limited time connected to Wi-Fi than they do to 4G networks, according to a study conducted by OpenSignal.
During September to November 30 -the three months in which Jio has been available to the widespread public–Jio users connected to Wi-Fi networks on average 8.2% of the time, which is well below India’s 29.8% average time on Wi-Fi from OpenSignal’s global report.
Time on Wi-fi by operator:
Tata DoCoMo 30.4%
OpenSignal’s global report shows that in 46 countries smartphone users spend more time connected to Wi-Fi than they do to mobile data networks like 3G and 4G.
“One of the biggest drivers of Wi-Fi usage on the smartphones is the cost of the mobile data. If you have an expensive data plan, you tend to look for cheaper connections to offset your mobile bill and in most cases Wi-Fi is just the ticket. But what if you get 4 GBs of 4G data daily for no additional charge as Jio users now receive? There’s not much incentive to seek out a Wi-Fi link,” OpenSignal’s Kevin Fitchard said in a post.
“When confronted with slow 2G or 3G data connections, smartphone users will hunt for Wi-Fi to improve their data experience. But in Jio’s case it has no 2G or 3G networks…Since Jio’s users are by default contending with 4G networks only, they have little incentive to seek out Wi-Fi, especially if those Wi-Fi connections might turn out slower than LTE,” Fitchard said.
Reliance Jio commercially started operations on September 5 with the launch of free unlimited voice and 4G data per day. It recently extended its free offer till March 31, 2017, but it has reduced per day free data offer to 1 GB.
The telco’s user base is nearing 60 million in the country, industry watchers say.
He added that Jio’s users see little reason to seek out Wi-Fi connections today. “It will be interesting to see if that mindset changes once Jio’s free-4G promotion expires in March.”
The study found that Vodafone customers spend maximum time connected to WI-Fi networks on average 31.3% of the time, followed by BSNL and Tata Docomo customers with 31.1% and 30.4%, respectively.