SPOTLIGHT: Safety in numbers

A new ABI Research forecast says that in 2006 the number of commercial WiFi hotspots will grow by 47 percent worldwide to 143,700. Almost three-quarters of these sites (74 percent, to be precise) are located in North America and Europe, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing very rapidly. Europe is still the market leader with more than 57 million hotspots. A major driver of WiFi hotspots is retail establishments, with McDonald's, which has added hotspots to 17 percent of its 4,000 locations, offering a good example. The growing WiFi hotspot market is driving increased demand for WiFi APs: More than 675,000 APs will be shipped this year for use in hotspots. ABI Research notes that not only are hotspot deployments and their subscriber numbers growing, but that there also has been a dramatic increase in the number of WiFi sessions per subscriber. There are now almost 40,000 hotspots around the world. Report