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Global Demand Increases for Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Wi-Fi wireless hotspot market is entering a revival period marked by renewed interest from communication providers and increased usage among both business and leisure users, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

In-Stat estimates that wireless hotspot usage will increase in 2009 by 47 percent, bringing total worldwide connects to 1.2 billion.

"A market that appeared to be languishing due to revenue shortcomings has found a renewed life force," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst.

Mobile operators have become increasingly involved in the hotspot market globally as they assess the potential of hotspots to offload wireless data traffic from overburdened 3G networks. Also, mass market adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones has significantly altered hotspot usage, with these devices accounting for the majority of access sessions in some locations.

Wi-fi usage at home and the increased availability of free (to the end-user) Wi-Fi access in coffee shops, hotels and other public places, has stimulated demand for wireless Internet access.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Total worldwide hotspot venues will reach 245,000 locations in 2009.

- AT&T is on course to experience 500 percent usage growth for 2008 vs. 2009.

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

- Survey results seem to suggest that security concerns by individuals, not corporate users, are one of the few issues that are potentially limiting hotspot usage.

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