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Public Wi-Fi Adoption Increased 40 Percent in the Past Year
Posted: 15-Apr-2006 [Source: JupierResearch]

[Jupiter Research reports 58% of public WiFi users connect only when the service is free.]

New York -- JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, announced that the adoption of public Wi-Fi by the online population grew from 14% to 20% or 43% between 2004 and 2005. In a new report titled "Public Wi-Fi: Capturing Paying Customers in an Increasingly Competitive Space" JupiterResearch explores the demand for public hotspots and what services providers need to offer to grow market share.

"While the adoption of public hotspots is growing rapidly, willingness of consumers to pay for access is not keeping pace," said Ina Sebastian, Associate Analyst at JupiterResearch. "Business users are most likely to pay for use, but there isn't enough frequent use to drive adoption of subscription models yet."

According to the new research, 58% of online public Wi-Fi users use hotspots only when they are free. Ahead of cost, lack of user need and equipment are the top two inhibitors to adoption for consumers who do not use hotspots. Wi-Fi service providers need to focus on capturing mobile professionals and home wireless network owners. Business travelers demand Wi-Fi availability in particular at captive locations, which in conjunction with home wireless networks, will drive demand for paid public access.

"Low demand for paid public access and alternative access options limit revenue and pose risks associated with investing in more infrastructure", said David Schatsky, President of JupiterKagan. "However, our research reveals significant opportunity for Wi-Fi service providers and provides recommendations for alternate additional revenue streams, which can alleviate limitations of a consumer-centric revenue model."

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