Survey: Travelling Wi-Fi Users Stay Online

A new report from Ireland’s Research and Markets shows that while both 3G mobile networks and Wi-Fi connectivity serve mobile users, some 60 percent of Wi-Fi users sometimes or always make their travel plans with Wi-Fi availability in mind.

Although primarily a market study, 3G and Wi-Fi: In Search of the Sweet Spot highlights some interesting trends; while quarter-on-quarter growth for shipments and revenue for Wi-Fi equipment is slowing down, notebook computers are used for wireless data communications almost twice as often as cell phones. Moreover, while over one third of Wi-Fi users report that they exclusively use only free Wi-Fi connections (and nearly 18.9 percent use Wi-Fi only at home or at work), over 60 percent said they use commercial Wi-Fi hotspots when they’re on the go.

Both 3G mobile networks and Wi-Fi access continue to grow, though the report finds Wi-Fi growth slowed through mid-2005. Wi-Fi aggregators facilitate roaming for mobile users, who can also find free or low-cost Wi-Fi at thousands of retail businesses and in hundreds of U.S. municipalities.

However, despite the growth in wireless data services, the survey finds neither cellular data users nor Wi-Fi data users are well satisfied with the cost, availability, or speeds of the services they use, and both groups were strong disinclined to pay for a service that would address the perceived shortcomings.

So, so far as data services are concerned, it would seem that you can take it with you: you just won’t necessarily be happy about it!

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