Friday, December 16, 2011

My Wi-Fi Offload

To get a better idea of how much data is actually offloaded to Wi-Fi, I downloaded NetCounter, an app available for free from the Android Marketplace.

The reality is that most mobile operators can only count bytes that traverse their packet data infrastructure (SGSN/GGSN). Typically they can't see what gets routed directly over Wi-Fi (perhaps there's an exception if using CarrierIQ).

So how much data actually goes over Wi-Fi versus the cellular network?

The vast majority of my data is over Wi-Fi. For the past two months, I have logged 1,907 mb through my smartphone - with 205 mb over cellular and 1,702 over Wi-Fi.

Percentage-wise, that's a 90/10% split.

Granted I'm Wi-Fi savvy, plus I'm using T-Mobile's Wi-Fi Calling service which encourages me to turn on, and leave on, Wi-Fi when I'm at home and in the office.

Also I spend the vast majority of my waking time within range of Wi-Fi both at home and in the office.

Of course, this is a sample size of one, but still quite telling. Wi-Fi is certainly the work-horse of my mobile internet experience.

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