Video-on-demand, VoIP and online gameplay applications are noticeably slower over Wi-Fi than using wired Ethernet connections, the broadband analytics firm Epitiro has said.
The company said on Thursday that a small drop in wireless signal can lead to a drop in download speeds of 30 percent and an increase of between 10-20 percent in latency, with packet loss and jitter also being affected. However, Epitiro said, common activities such as emailing and web surfing are not noticeably slowed down by the use of wireless rather than wired connectivity.
"With sales of wireless devices... now outstripping desktop computers, it is clear that Wi-Fi connectivity is important to consumers," Epitiro said. "It also implies that consumers have practical experience of the limitations with Wi-Fi and accept these for the benefit of mobility.
"Consequently, Epitiro recommends that ISPs and regulators could benefit from measuring subscriber quality-of-experience in addition to traditional quality-of-service network analysis."
Epitiro's study was carried out using test applications embedded on the computers of 14,001 volunteers in the US, UK, Italy and Spain. More than a million test results were obtained, the company said, adding that it also conducted laboratory testing on many popular Wi-Fi routers to check the relationship between signal strength and download speeds.