Public Wi-Fi Hotspots Grow 400% Worldwide

September 1, 2009

The number of public Wi-Fi hotspots around the world is on the rise and has grown from 53,746 in 2004 to 258,853 in June 2009, a 400% increase, according to a report from JiWire, which also noted 9% growth between January and June of this year.

jiwire-worldwide-public-wifi-hotspots-growth-2004-2009.jpg

The inaugural “Mobile Audience Insights Report,” which includes Wi-Fi trends and data about the demographics and behavioral interests of Wi-Fi users, said that the top countries for public Wi-Fi are the US, China and the UK:

jiwire-top-10-countries-public-wifi-june-2009.jpg

The top-three US cities for public Wi-Fi are New York City, San Francisco and Chicago:

jiwire-top-10-us-cities-public-wifi-june-2009.jpg

Apple Dominates Mobile Wi-Fi Device Use

In statistics collected specifically from North America, the report noted that the number of mobile devices accessing Wi-Fi hotspots grew by 79% in the first half of the year.

Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch remain the most popular Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices in North America, collectively representing 97.8% of all mobile-device connections. The Palm Pre debuted as the #5 most popular mobile device in June 2009, the report said.

jiwire-north-american-share-mobile-device-ad-requests-june-2009.jpg

Caf?s Double as Offices, Libraries

Though more than half of Wi-Fi users in North America access Wi-Fi service from hotel/resort hotspots (55.3%), the research revealed that 10.5% now use Wi-Fi services in local caf?s and coffee shops as extended home offices or college libraries, and 83% of these users connect locally in their own neighborhood.

Those who use Wi-Fi in caf?s and coffee shops comprise a desirable demographic that may be planning more big-ticket purchases in the near future, JiWire said.? This audience is predominantly affluent, male and between ages? 25-49. Four in 10 are business decision makers with management titles.

In addition, nearly four in 10 (38%) of caf? Wi-Fi users report that they have made an online purchase during their visit and 77% are in the market to make a major purchase in the next 12 months:

  • 48%? intend to buy a new smartphone.
  • 54% plan to travel more than once on at least a week-long vacation.
  • 28% plan to buy a new laptop.
  • 24% plan to buy a car.

JiWire suggested that these findings challenge the assumption that the mobile Wi-Fi set is a task-oriented audience just checking e-mail or doing work. “Instead, they’re fully engaging the internet when on the go – using social networks, researching products, and actively buying goods and services,” said Kevin McKenzie, CEO of JiWire.

Additional report findings:

  • 81% of public Wi-Fit hotspots worldwide are paid, while 19% are free.
  • There has been an 18.4% increase in monthly total public Wi-Fi users from December 2008 – June 2009.
  • Wi-Fi enabled entertainment devices – such as the Sony PSP and the iPod Touch remain popular on public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • 85% of US Wi-Fi cafe customers connect at least once a week, and? 68% stay connected for more than an hour.

About the report: JiWire’s first Mobile Audience Insights Report is based on data from approximately 275,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as a survey of 2,057 customers randomly selected in more than 6,500 caf? locations across the US that used JiWire’s Wi-Fi Media Channel from April to June 2009.

Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This