Wi-Fi Hotspots Stay Hot in 2008, According to ABI Research

2008-07-17 08:41:00

NEW YORK–(EMWPresswire)–Wi-Fi hotspots are continuing their torrid growth in 2008. According to

ABI Researchs WI-FI Hotspots Forecasts, by

the end of this year global hotspots will grow by 40% over 2007. The

greatest growth and the largest number of hotspots continue to be found

in Europe. While the UK has long led in European Wi-Fi hotspots, there

is also marked growth in France, Germany, and Russia.

Most remarkable about the hotspot market, says vice president and

research director Stan Schatt, are the dynamics of a fast-changing

business model. Starbucks

decision to go to a virtually free Wi-Fi hotspot model is having a

profound impact. Hotspot owners are beginning to see Wi-Fi as a cost of

doing business and an operational expense, rather than as a profit

center. Schatt expects major retailers to

move towards a free service model in phases. The

first phase is likely to be a free or almost free service for good

customers, those who have signed up for loyalty cards.

One reason hotspot owners are willing to move towards such a business

model, according to Schatt, is the realization that, Charging

for service is counter-productive in the long run because the real money

will be in value-add content downloads. In

the near future hotspots are likely to encourage users to pay to

download the latest music and TV shows. Airport clubs are likely to

offer hotspot users the chance to download movies for their upcoming

trips. Starbucks has already begun selling music CDs in its stores. The

next logical step will be to move to selling music downloads.

The proliferation of devices that support Wi-Fi also makes charging for

such services more complex for hotspot owners. If a person is on a 3G

connection on a dual-band phone and then moves into a Wi-Fi hotspot, how

does the Wi-Fi billing take place? How many separate accounts must a

customer who has both a dual-band phone and a Wi-Fi enabled laptop have

in order to use a Wi-Fi network? Garnering money for downloads is a much

more straightforward matter.

Wi-Fi

Hotspot Forecasts (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_data/

Wi-Fi_Hotspot_Forecasts) provides users with historical market data

for Wi-Fi hotspots, and forecasts yearly market data. This includes the

number of Wi-Fi hotspots by region and by venue type, the number of

hotspot access points shipped for, as well as subscribers and revenue

data.

It forms part of the firms Wi-Fi

Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Wi-Fi_Research_Service).

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of

emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing

a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert

assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research

assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth

initiatives. For information, visit www.abiresearch.com,

or call +1.516.624.2500.

(Long URLs in this release may need to be copied/pasted into your

Internet browser’s address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

ABI Research
Nicole Fabris, 516-624-2542
pr@abiresearch.com

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