Consumers feel WiFi should be as readily available as any standard utility

Devicescape interim survey into attitudes towards WiFi shows that

• 88% now see WiFi as a commodity that should be available everywhere, all of the time
• 64% do not care who their provider is
• Security is still a concern that the industry needs to address

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 26th February, 2012 - (Virtual Press Office) —Devicescape, The WiFi Offload Company™, today unveiled the results of its latest WiFi usage survey, which found that 88% of consumers think of WiFi access as a ubiquitous commodity, as readily-available as a common household utility. Consumers expect that WiFi should always be available whenever they want it, and are frustrated when it isn’t. Over 200 mobile WiFi users participated in the survey, which revealed, amongst other things that, alongside the increasing expectation for ubiquitous WiFi, maintaining appropriate levels of security over WiFi is still an issue.

Attitudes to security still a concern

Almost half (46.9%) of respondents to the Devicescape survey said that they would connect to a WiFi network which they thought may be insecure or compromise privacy. A significant proportion (nearly 35%) declared that they do not worry about security at all.

It seems that security is a significant concern that needs to be addressed in a world where WiFi access is ubiquitous. The stats suggest that a unified and consistent approach to handling WiFi security across public access points would be of benefit to both users and service providers.

Growing demand for WiFi in public locations

The survey also revealed that 80% of consumers actively seek out WiFi networks to use with their smartphone or tablet device. Over 58% of respondents agreed that WiFi should be more readily available in public locations such as retail outlets and hotels. Furthermore, growing numbers of users expect WiFi access when travelling, with over 40% saying that they wish to see improved WiFi access on trains, and almost 39% expressing that WiFi should be readily available on planes.

In addition, the research also shows that almost 64% of respondents do not care which WiFi service provider they use. This study reveals that as long as people are receiving good quality WiFi access, they are not overly concerned as to who is providing it for them.

The data-traffic across mobile networks grew by 133% in 2011, with the rapid rise of smartphones and tablets causing mobile users to expect Internet access to extend beyond traditional locations such as the office and home. Between now and 2016, the average data use of individual smartphones is expected to rise from 150MB per month to 2500MB per month. It is estimated that by 2016, 31% of this data will be offloaded, and all-pervading WiFi access is crucial to this process.

“People are no longer content with WiFi being a service which is confined to their offices and homes,” commented Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape. “We’re starting to see WiFi being perceived to be as common as your standard household utility; and just like any utility, people feel indignant when it is unavailable, or doesn’t work as well as it should.

“Rather than the disparate, messy series of distinct networks that they must currently negotiate, consumers need something that juggles the many APs available to them, and addresses security concerns, so their WiFi ‘just works’, seamlessly. In our view, Devicescape is that system.”

Devicescape is available to discuss the findings of this survey today. To set up an interview, please contact devicescape@emlwildfire.com

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Methodology

216 Devicescape members of all ages, professions and locations participated in the survey, offering their opinions on topics ranging from the role of WiFi as a commodity to security concerns when connecting to public networks.

About Devicescape

Devicescape, The WiFi Offload Company™, connects more devices to more WiFi hotspots than any other offload service because Devicescape manages the largest virtual network of hotspots worldwide. Devicescape, which has been serving mobile operators with advanced WiFi solutions since 2001, is headquartered in California and privately held by leading venture capital companies including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, Enterprise Partners and JAFCO. Online at http://www.devicescape.com.


PR contact, and for further information

Alex Perryman
Account Manager
EML Wildfire
+44 208 4088000
devicescape@emlwildfire.com
 
 
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