Archive for November, 2009

Who uses Wi-Fi?

Thursday, November 19, 2009
posted by raheema

We are almost in the year 2010.  The Digital Age.  Perhaps my title should be changed to Who doesn’t use Wi-Fi?

Well, excluding an older generation, I am pretty sure the majority of today’s population does, has or will use Wi-Fi frequently in their life span.   From 2004 to mid-2009, Wi-Fi Hotspots increased by 400% .

Canada is not in the top three of Wi-Fi accessible countries, but we are surely getting there.  The top 3 Wi-Fi using countries are:

USA with 67,420 Hotspots.

China with 28,678 Hotspots.

UK with 27,459 Hotspots.

What are the most popular places to use Wi-Fi Hotspots?  Hotels and resorts rank in at 53 %, Airports come in at 27 %, Coffee Shops come in at 10%  and about 8% are misc. places eg. car repair shops, truck stops, cruises, public transport etc.  People that go to these places often use Internet enabled devices, not just laptops. 80% of Wi-Fi users are within their local neighbourhood.   The most popular devices at the moment are the iPhone and the iPod Touch.  So popular that 97.8% of Wi-Fi users are using these hand held devices!  (Please take note – these would make great Christmas gifts!)

Hotels

Since 2004 hotels have actively been trying to perfect Wi-Fi in their hotels, especially mid-range hotels, as that is where most business clients stay.  Before the Wi-Fi Age, users could not move around.  They would have to plug laptops into a cable and sit at an uncomfortable chair for hours while working.  Now, with wireless access, they can move around anywhere in their room, go down to the lobby for a change of scenery and still be connected.  More often than not meeting rooms are also wireless so several users can connect simultaneously.

Coffee Shops / Cafe’s

Coffee Shops attract different crowds.  Business people looking for a quick business meeting,  Girlfriends getting together for a chat, University/College students that are looking for place to study (AKA home away from home or library extension).  Often people that work from home will go to a local cafe for lunch just for a change.

  • 81%  of coffee shop Hotspots are paid spots, only 19% are free Hotspots.  This is rapidly changing as most coffee shops are realizing it is becoming a value added service.
  • 68% of users stay for at least 1 hour.
  • 93% of people make a purchase at the cafe and 40% of users make an online purchase while surfing the web.

When signing on to a Hotspot, quick surveys are becoming popular.  This gives market researchers a chance to find out consumers likes and dislikes, what kind of purchases they are anticipating in the next 3-6 months, what devices they use, music they like… the options are endless.

Bookstores

Bookstores are a lot like cafes and libraries for students.  Research shows that when a bookstore is close to a university/ college  or hospital it is able to lure people in by offering free Wi-Fi.    Bookstores are also becoming a popular meeting spot for business meetings when there is free Wi-Fi.  Many people also use their iPhones to look up book reviews before choosing a novel.  Now that most bookstores also have coffee shops inside, Wi-Fi is more than likely to help customers buy a coffee and a treat while they are looking at books or hanging out.

As Wi-Fi becomes more popular, more people are using it.  As more people use it, store owners see the benefits of providing it to their clients for free.  It’s a win – win situation for both parties.

Next time you are out and about, remember to enjoy a coffee and check your email too!

Get Connected and Stay Connected!

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