WiFi Emerges as Preferred Method of Connectivity During Overseas Travel and Data-Intensive Activities
SAN BRUNO, CA, Jul 27, 2012 — Devicescape, the leader in WiFi offload services, today unveiled results from its second quarter 2012 WiFi Report. This quarter, with the 2012 Olympics on the horizon, the focus centered on WiFi usage during overseas travel. The report also examined WiFi usage trends among sports fans, highlighting WiFi as the preferred choice when watching live streams or video highlights of sporting events on the go. Survey results were culled from more than 1,800 Devicescape members of all ages, professions and locations, and again serve to underscore WiFi’s prominent role among smartphone users.
Key findings from the “Q2 2012 Devicescape WiFi Report” showed:
- The Devicescape Curated Virtual Network (CVN) reached 8.6 million hotspots during the second quarter.
- More than 90 percent of respondents expect large events like the Olympics to provide free WiFi. A vast majority of respondents (82 percent) applaud the London subway system for providing its riders free WiFi during the Olympics.
- Over 77 percent of respondents would use their smartphones to take advantage of coupons or other deals while visiting London during the Olympics.
- Data charges due to roaming are a top concern among international travelers, with 88 percent indicating so.
- Another 89 percent rely on WiFi to keep data charges low and stay within their data plans while traveling overseas.
- Forty percent regularly stream sporting events on their smartphones or tablets to keep abreast of the latest scores.
- Almost 41 percent say they would use social media to connect with fellow sports fans or place bets on live, in-play betting apps.
- At least one-half of respondents say the number of people at a sporting event or festival has affected their cellular network.
WiFi Key for Overseas Travel
With the 2012 Olympics in London looming, overseas travelers are reminded that their cellular usage might have to be reined in for a week or so — that is, unless they can connect to a WiFi network. Overseas roaming charges could put a significant dent in a smartphone customer’s wallet, the threat of which will no doubt severely curb any communications with family and friends back home. While traveling, 88 percent of our respondents say they would worry about such charges, and a further 89 percent would rely on WiFi to keep charges low. Thankfully, Olympics revelers from far away can find some respite from data charges on the London Tube, which has plans to provide free WiFi for riders throughout the event. More than 82 percent of our respondents agree that this is a fantastic idea, and absolutely critical to maintain connectivity.
Roaming charges would not be the only concern at the Olympics, according to our respondents. With such a large volume of people using their smartphones at an event of Olympics magnitude, cellular service is likely to be compromised. Almost 56 percent of respondents cite this as a top concern.
It seems our respondents would find other uses for their smartphones if they were to attend the Olympics: More than 77 percent would use their smartphones to redeem coupons and deals at the event. This mirrors trends in previous surveys, which highlight leveraging smartphones and WiFi to take advantage of deals in retail shops, grocery stores and the like. Also echoing past reports is the requirement that hotels offer free WiFi. Indeed, 93 percent of our respondents underscore this expectation again this quarter.
Sports Enthusiasts and WiFi: A Match Made in Heaven
Somewhere in the world, a sporting event of some sort is being televised — or so it seems. With this in mind, sports enthusiasts access their smartphones or tablets to watch the latest live streams or video highlights. While our respondents indicate that 40 percent do this regularly, the rest indicate a slow or unstable connection keeps them from watching on their device. WiFi would likely rectify this issue with a consistent, high-quality connection unaffected by volumes of data users.
Linked to this is a certain reluctance to use social media to connect with fellow sports fans at a live sporting event. Almost 24 percent of our respondents say they would use their devices to connect with fellow fans or place bets on live, in-play betting applications only with a reliable wireless connection. Forty-one percent would not be sidelined by a lackluster wireless connection.
“The 2012 Olympics and similar events present an opportunity for WiFi to shine,” said Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape. “In environments where wireless connections suffer due to heavy data usage, WiFi, with its unlimited spectrum, emerges as the better choice to keep the citizens of the world connected.”
Devicescape, The WiFi Offload Company™, connects more devices to more WiFi hotspots than any other offload service because Devicescape manages the largest virtual network of hotspots worldwide. Devicescape, which serves mobile operators with advanced WiFi solutions, is headquartered in California, privately held by leading venture capital companies including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, Jafco Ventures, and Enterprise Partners. Online at www.devicescape.com.