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Devicescape releases report on consumer Wi-Fi attitudes
Posted: 29-Jan-2009 [Source: Devicescape]

[Wi-Fi survey shows a large majority of respondents wants OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets and also want the opportunity to subscribe to a combination 3G/Wi-Fi data package.]

London and San Bruno, CA -- In a new report conducted by Decipher, Inc. on behalf of Devicescape and other Wi-Fi leaders, more than 2,700 Wi-Fi users shared their opinions about Wi-Fi. The questions were provided by Wi-Fi pundits. The survey queried a cross-section of Devicescape's members, a group that includes a variety of both professionals and students from around the world.

Key findings from the "Devicescape Wi-Fi Report" showed: -- An overwhelming number of Wi-Fi users expect Wi-Fi while on the road (91%);

-- Most respondents want citywide Wi-Fi (84%) and, surprisingly, many are willing to pay for it (56%) as they would a utility;

-- When traveling, the most-often used device for accessing Wi-Fi was the smartphone, such as an iPhone (vs. laptops);

-- The overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using Wi-Fi over 3G for browsing Web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending e-mail;

-- 86% of respondents want OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets;

-- 82% of respondents want the service provider to provide an overall 3G/Wi-Fi data package

Many of the statistics within the UK and mainland Europe were similar to the US, but one significant difference is that Nokia is the most used device tapping into Wi-Fi, more than laptops and iPhone users.

"This data reflects the fact that people recognize that Wi-Fi -- a technology they know and love on PCs and home entertainment systems -- is also a great way to stay connected with their handsets," said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "Wi-Fi delivers a terrific user experience for web surfing, downloading multimedia content, and doing voice calls, so it has become a must-have feature on all the coolest phones."

Industry trends parallel evolving consumer tastes towards 3G and Wi-Fi

With the overwhelming popularity of smartphones, carriers too are increasingly embracing Wi-Fi. Specifically, growing demand for streaming video, online gaming and daily downloads are putting a greater strain on carriers' 3G networks. However, this new-data intensive traffic can be offloaded from 3G to Wi-Fi networks -- a much less expensive alternative and faster technology. Service providers are now working closely with OEMs to build in Wi-Fi and, in turn, encourage users to take advantage of new Wi-Fi capabilities on their smartphones.

Challenges to growing Wi-Fi adoption

However, Wi-Fi on a smartphone is new territory for consumers, who often find it difficult to get and stay connected to a Wi-Fi network. With widespread customer adoption of Wi-Fi hanging in the balance, the need for easy setup and seamless connectivity is critical. Notably, the Devicescape Wi-Fi Report revealed that "complicated login screens" was the most common frustration consumers had when attempting to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Moreover, the vast majority (90%) of handset users want their service provider to allow them to roam between 3G and Wi-Fi networks seamlessly.

This is Devicescape's first report regarding consumer attitudes towards Wi-Fi and other high-bandwidth, wireless technologies. Devicescape will continue to deliver information about Wi-Fi usage and consumer behavior via The Devicescape Wi-Fi Report. Devicescape encourages the public to submit questions for future surveys by submitting them to: DevicescapeWi-FiReport@devicescape.com.

Devicescape Wi-Fi Report Methodology

Decipher Inc. surveyed more than 2,700 Wi-Fi users, representing a cross section of Devicescape's overall membership. The survey questions were developed by Devicescape, Trustive, DeFiMobile and industry pundits. Devicescape members include a wide array of both working professionals from a variety industries as well as students in both the U.S. and around the world.

With more than one million members, Devicescape is the leader in Easy Wi-Fi. The company has worked with original equipment manufacturers and service providers since its inception. Devicescape's Easy Wi-Fi enables anytime, anywhere, any network Wi-Fi access.D

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