economist.com – LIKE many others, the first thing your correspondent does when within hailing distance of a public hotspot is switch off his mobile phone’s 3G/4G data network and join the internet courtesy of freely available Wi-Fi instead. He can then download dollops of data without the anxiety of breaching his wireless carrier’s monthly megabyte cap and running up punitive charges. He is not alone. According to comScore, a market research company, more than 42% of mobile-phone traffic, and over 90% of tablet traffic, travels by Wi-Fi instead of the carriers’ own cellular networks.

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