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F2S Predicts Increased Wi-Fi Usage

Posted: 14th Apr, 2005 By: MarkJ
The WiFi Man 2005 Report, conducted by ISP Freedom2Surf, has predicted that UK Wi-Fi Hotspot usage will increase by 35% during 2005. However, 40% of the population are still unaware of the technology:

According to research carried out by Freedom2Surf, half of all women and one quarter of all men had never heard of WiFi signalling a very strong gender, knowledge & awareness gap in the UK.

However, in a positive note for the future growth potential of the wireless industry, Freedom2Surf’s WiFi Man Report revealed that the 16-24yr old age group had the highest awareness of the technology with almost 30 per cent stating that they connect to the Internet via a WiFi hotspot more than once a week.

USAGE ON THE INCREASE:

Examining the amount of time people spend connected via WiFi, the report found that 40 per cent of regular users spend 10 minutes a day on average connected to a hotspot, while a further 40 per cent spend at least an hour in a single session. Around 10 per cent of users surveyed connect three to four times a day for at least 20 minutes at a time.

The research also examined whether current users are planning to increase WiFi usage in 2005. The survey found that over a third (35%) expect to increase the time they spend connected in the coming year, with 15 per cent stating that they expect their usage to increase dramatically in 2005. Again the 16-24yr age group is expecting to increase its usage the most (52%) compared to 34 per cent of the 35-44 age group.

BARRIERS TO UPTAKE:

The report found that the biggest barrier which prevents UK consumers connecting to hotspots more often is a lack of regular access to a Wi-Fi enabled laptop (40 per cent). This was closely followed by the perceived high cost of accessing the Internet through a WiFi hotspot with 30% citing price as the biggest barrier. The survey also found that almost a third of consumers are unaware of where hotspots are actually located. The fourth barrier to greater uptake, highlighted by over one in five respondents, was the perceived complexity of set-up and payment for WiFi hotspot services.

PRICE:

There were some interesting variations on the research results, with price being the biggest barrier for almost half of those aged 16-24 (42 per cent), while only 24% of 35-44 year olds acknowledged it as a drawback.

UPTAKE:

Geographically, the research found that London is easily the WiFi hotspot of the UK with a higher usage and higher awareness of what WiFi is all about – largely because there are more hotspots in London than anywhere else in the UK – whilst the residents of Yorkshire are the least Wi-Fi savvy. And despite their ‘silver surfer’ tag, UK consumers aged 55+ were revealed as being the weakest Wi-Fi user group, with just 11 per cent having used a hotspot.


Some 1,000 consumers were polled for the survey.
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