Hotspot Usage to Reach 120 Billion Connects by 2015, Says In-Stat

The hotspot market continues to surge forward with phenomenal growth in footprint and usage. 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. New In-Stat ( research forecasts that this trend will continue as usage will increase to nearly 120 billion connects in 2015.

“The hotspot market is in a continuous state of flux. Now over a decade old, the market is still undergoing significant changes in usage and business models,” says Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst. “Wi-Fi hotspots have become a service used to attract customers to other product offerings, rather than a standalone offering. 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.”

Some of the research findings include:

  • Hotspots will continue to be a key factor in mobile operators’ data offload strategy.
  • Worldwide hotspot venues will increase to over 1 million in 2013.
  • While transportation and convention centers only account for a small percent of venues, they account for nearly 30% of total connects.
  • Asia Pacific has emerged as the preeminent hotspot market, largely due to recent renewed investment in venue deployment.
  • Notebooks continue to account for the majority of connects in the hotspot market; however, the rate of smartphone and tablet access is increasing rapidly.

Recent In-Stat research, Wi-Fi Hotspots: The Mobile Operator’s 3G Offload Alternative (#IN1105002WS), 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-scale adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled handsets and a blending of mobile and Wi-Fi experiences
  • Further integration of Wi-Fi into mobile operator strategies
  • A promise of automatic login and seamless access as Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) technologies are implemented in coming years
  • Revised payment models shifting to free and bundled access
  • New application potential, including mobile video and location-based services

The report also provides:

  • Venue and usage forecast by venue, category, and region
  • In-Stat TAP survey results on hotspot usage and perceptions
  • Analysis of hotspot access devices, and usage distinctions between laptop and non-laptop devices
  • Classification of venue types and related usage trends
  • Analysis of market growth opportunities and barriers
  • Evaluation of hotspot business models and the transition to “free access”

About In-Stat

In-Stat’s market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions. Technology vendors, equipment manufacturers, service providers and media companies worldwide rely on In-Stat to support critical business, product and technology decisions.

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