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Blog / 2009 / November / Mobile Broadband and WiFi Hotspots, up or down?
November 4, 2009
Mobile Broadband and WiFi Hotspots, up or down?
by Henry Kurkowski   |   0 COMMENTS

Every now and then I am asked by friends and potential clients about the impact of 3G smartphones and mobile broadband cards on WiFi Hotspots. There is the perception that with the persistent growth of people accessing the internet over mobile broadband that WiFi Hotspots will be used less and less. That perception could not be more wrong. In fact AT&T's latest usage statistics show explosive growth in Hotspot usage.


In the second quarter of 2009 AT&T reported 15 million sessions at their Hotspots across the USA. In their latest report, WiFi usage is up to 25 million sessions. That is a growth of 66% in a single quarter! Not surprisingly 60% of that usage was by consumers using smartphones. See release here.


It is no secret that the mobile broadband networks are being over taxed by consumer usage. The carriers are all using various methods to train their subscribers to utilize WiFi where and when it is available. This practice helps both the carrier and the subscriber. It allows the carriers to dump data traffic off of their network and free up capacity and it allows subscribers to save on their monthly plans while getting better speeds. For both the carrier and the consumer WiFi is faster and vastly cheaper in the short and long term. Of course, let's not forget the vast number of people who do not even have a mobile broadband plan. They too find WiFi Hotspots to be their best alternative to connect when they are out and about.


With consumers spending a consistently increasing amount of time online, managed WiFi hotspots are being used now more than ever. Consumers like to spend time and money with businesses that cater to their needs. So it would seem that offering a managed WiFi Hotspot to appease consumer wants and needs would be a no-brainer for a business that wants to stay competitive.

filed under Consumer Trends