Usage Patterns in an Urban WiFi Network
While WiFi was initially designed as a local-area access network, mesh networking technologies have led to increasingly expansive deployments of WiFi networks. In urban environments, the WiFi mesh frequently supplements a number of existing access technologies, including wired broadband networks, 3G cellular, and commercial WiFi hotspots. It is an open question what role citywide WiFi deployments play in the increasingly diverse access network spectrum. The authors study the usage of the Google WiFi network deployed in Mountain View, California, and find that usage naturally falls into three classes, based almost entirely on client device type, which they divide into traditional laptop users, fixed-location access devices, and PDA-like smartphone devices.