Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mobile Devices Drive Wi-Fi Hotspot Usage

While it's expected that enterprise users might express concern over the security of Wi-Fi hotspots, it is actually the individual consumer user that is driving these concerns, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Regardless, that concern isn't significantly holding back hotspot usage growth.

According to In-Stat's Wi-Fi hotspot market research, over three-quarters of survey respondents are personally aware of and proactive regarding security concerns.

The number of respondents indicating that their companies restrict Wi-Fi usage has dropped below 15 percent of the total respondents -- a significant shift from 2008 when nearly the figure was 31 percent of respondents.

"While consumers and businesses are cautious about hotspot security, this hasn't stopped them from using hotspots in dramatically increased numbers," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. "In-Stat estimates that hotspot usage will increase in 2009 by 47 percent, bringing total worldwide connects to 1.2 billion."

It's relatively easy to set-up a virtual private network (VPN), and most small and medium sized businesses now apply this form of secure connectivity on all their company's portable PCs.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Lack of availability was the second most cited barrier behind security to hotspot usage, followed by cost.

- Wi-Fi-enabled entertainment devices, such as cameras, gaming devices, and personal media players (PMPs) shipments will increase from 109 million in 2009 to 177 million in 2013.

- Asia Pacific will experience the greatest growth in Wi-Fi venue deployments over the next few years, largely driven by large-scale deployments in China.