How South Africans use free Wi-Fi

More than 13,600 people have signed up to a free Wi-Fi service provided by the City of Cape Town, since its inception in October, 2014.

City of Cape Town has committed to rolling out broadband infrastructure throughout the metro as part of a R1.3 billion programme to complete the roll-out over the next seven years.

The project includes the provision of free Wi-Fi both inside and outside public buildings at a number of hotspots in the city, and saw 3.2 terabytes of data downloaded in a single month, in January.

BitTorrent and Facebook topped the list of most commonly used applications, while YouTube was the most popular site for online streaming.

The City launched a trial service with three commercial service providers – MWEB, Orange and Internet Solutions – in October.

MWEB committed to providing an uncapped data service, and while Orange initially offered 200 MB of data service per day per person, it subsequently raised that cap to 3GB per person per day as from 2 February 2015. Internet Solutions offered a free data service of 50 MB per day per person.

The statistics for January 2015 revealed that Orange attracted the highest number of clients at 9,872, followed by MWEB with 3,530 and Internet Solutions with 252.

However, a total of 3.2 TB of data has been downloaded via MWEB versus only 126.13 GB via Orange.

The City of Cape Town said that more than 28,000 unique devices have accessed the network.

The top three applications used 1.4 TB of downloads via BitTorrent and 546.56 GB for streaming media on YouTube, while 152.99 GB has been used for cloud storage on Google Drive.

Google (42.56 GB) is the most used search engine, followed by Bing (918.38 MB) and Yahoo (408.25 MB).

Samsung Push Messaging, WhatsApp and Skype showed the highest usage in terms of real-time and cloud communication applications.

By the end of June 2015, 61 public hotspots will be available in buildings where members of the public congregate and queue for municipal services.

To date, public Wi-Fi services are operational at the Hillstar administrative building, Plumstead administrative building, Harare Library in Khayelitsha, and the Cape Town Civic Centre, the City of Cape Town said.

In addition 69 Wi-Fi access points (outside) are currently operational in the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain areas that will bring this number to 130 across the metro by June 2015, the City said.

More on Wi-Fi in SA

Tshwane gobbles up free Wi-Fi TV

Big free WiFi plans for Cape Town

Zille targets free WiFi for all in the Western Cape

SA Wi-Fi growth mapped

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