Thanksgiving Statistics

Posted on November 26, 2008

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the US, and while I’m a Brit, I’m always happy to celebrate somebody’s holiday with them! So, for those who will be enjoying large meals and catching up with their family over the long weekend, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. And for everybody in our global community, whether you’re on holiday or at work, I thought I’d throw out some statistics about Wi-Fi usage, internet usage and Devicescape usage that I thought were interesting.

Mobile Internet
I was presenting at a JETRO Houston event last week where one of the many interesting things I learned from my co-presenters was that in the late teen to early twenties age range, more people access the internet through a mobile device than with a computer or laptop. And the next couple of segments in that chart weren’t far behind either.

Japan has a great mobile data infrastructure to support this of course, and a lot of public access Wi-Fi networks, all of which help to make mobile access simple. The real surprise for me though was the low number of smartphone users (around 2% of mobile subscribers). I’m sure with the popularity of devices like Apple’s iPhone that will change, but just think where those usage statistics are headed if you give people devices capable of a much richer internet experience.

Mobile Wi-Fi
Two very mobile Wi-Fi applications have been making the headlines recently: in car Wi-Fi (from Autonet Mobile) and the recent press flight Virgin America hosted to show off in-flight Wi-Fi access using Aircell‘s gogo service.

While I saw a number of stickers advertising the Autonet in-car Wi-Fi at the San Francisco Auto Show last weekend, I didn’t manage to find a signal to connect to so I couldn’t try it out.

Glenn Fleishman over at Wi-Fi Net News was one of the folks on the plane for the Virgin flight however, and he has written up a number of pieces about his experiences, including one live from the flight. I also exchanged some Twitter messages with him while he was on board about the fact that he was using ssh over the link and reported that it was very usable.

Devicescape Usage
It has been a busy couple of months at Devicescape since the launch of Easy Wi-Fi for iPhone and iPod touch in Apple’s App Store, and Nokia increasing the number of their S60 platforms that have the option to download it right there on the phone. With the many new users finding Devicescape Easy Wi-Fi for the first time, we’ve had a noticeable increase in the traffic on our forum (which we’re very happy to see), and also a lot of new networks being sent in for us to add support for.

We have almost doubled our network count (i.e. the number of SSIDs we recognize as hotspot networks) in the recent weeks, and while a lot of those were additional SSIDs for existing services, we also have a very steady stream of user requested networks that we’re working as fast as we can to add.

One interesting number I thought I’d share with you is that we’ve now seen successful connections from our rapidly growing user base at over 80,000 different locations around the world. Including cases where the user didn’t have an account to access the network, or we didn’t know about the network at the time, our users have visited over half a million different hotspot locations!

By locations here, we’re talking about access points actually, so the number of physical addresses is probably a little lower since many of the more popular locations, like airports and larger cafes, will have more than on access point installed to provide full coverage. But that’s still a lot of places!