Global hotspot usage to reach 120 billion connects by 2015: study

The growing hotspot usage trend will continue this year and will increase to nearly 120 billion connects in 2015, new research from In-Stat suggests.

Over the past several years, growth in the hotspot market has largely been driven by wireless and broadband providers embracing Wi-Fi as both a competitive differentiator and an enhancement to core services, according to the research firm.

The report, Wi-Fi Hotspots: The Mobile Operator’s 3G Offload Alternative, covers how hotspots are being used, the frequency, and the occasion for usage. These all continue to transition due to a variety of factors, including wide adoption of mobile devices that use Wi-Fi, such as tablets. The researchers also forecast that worldwide hotpot venues will increase to more than one million in 2013. The Asia-Pacific area accounts for the most growth, likely due to its investment in more hotspot venues, the report suggests.

Transportation and convention centres only account for a small percent of venues but they account for nearly 30 per cent of total connects, according to the report.

“Wi-Fi hotspots have become a service used to attract customers to other product offerings, rather than a standalone offering,” said Amy Cravens, a senior analyst with In-Stat. Whether the product is broadband, mobile service, or a cup of coffee, Wi-Fi is being layered on top of core offerings as a competitive differentiator.”

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