Entitlement Or Reality? Consumers Want WiFi As Available As Any Standard Utility

Date: February 27, 2012

88% see WiFi as a commodity that should be available everywhere but it should be super secure and it should be free. They don’t care who provides it, just like water or electricity.

Is that a business model?

Devicescape, which manages the largest virtual network of hotspots worldwide, thinks so and unveiled the results of its latest WiFi usage survey as supporting evidence. They found that 88% of consumers think of WiFi access as a ubiquitous commodity. The 200 mobile WiFi users who participated in the survey also said maintaining appropriate levels of security over WiFi is still an issue. That means more costs.

Over 58% of respondents agreed – and that’s an important word in surveys, there is a difference between asking ‘what is the most important issue in WiFi?’ and ‘would you agree WiFi should be in more public spaces?’ – that WiFi should be more readily available in public locations such as retail outlets and hotels. 40% say they wish to see improved WiFi access on trains, and 38% expressed that WiFi should be readily available on planes. 64% of respondents do not care which WiFi service provider they use. That means more costs with little hope of brand loyalty.

Data-traffic across mobile networks grew by 133% in 2011, with the rapid rise of smartphones and tablets causing mobile users to expect Internet access to extend beyond traditional locations such as the office and home. Between now and 2016, the average data use of individual smartphones is expected to rise from 150MB per month to 2500MB per month. It is estimated that by 2016, 31% of this data will be offloaded, meaning WiFi access is crucial.

View the original article here: http://www.science20.com/news_articles/entitlement_or_reality_consumers_want_wifi_available_any_standard_utility-87344