Study: WiFi hotspot market staging huge comeback in 2009

In-Stat declared that the WiFi hotspot market has entered a revival period, and it estimates that hotspot usage will surge by 47 percent in 2009, bringing total worldwide connections to 1.2 billion.

Renewed interest from mobile operators and increased usage among business and consumer users is fueling this revival, the firm said.

"A market that appeared to be languishing due to revenue shortcomings has found a renewed life force," said In-Stat analyst Frank Dickson. "Mobile operators have become increasingly involved in the hotspot market globally as they assess the potential of hotspots to offload wireless data traffic from overburdened 3G networks. Also, mass market adoption of WiFi-enabled smartphones has significantly altered hotspot usage, with these devices accounting for the majority of access sessions in some locations."

Some other interesting research from In-Stat includes the projection that AT&T, which offers WiFi automatic authentication on many smartphones, is on course to record 500 percent usage growth for 2009 vs. 2008. And Asia-Pacific will experience the greatest growth in venue deployments over the next few years, largely driven by large-scale deployments in China, In-Stat said.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
WiFi becoming valuable customer retention tool
Operators embracing WiFi, but how far will they go?
AT&T reports WiFi surge as more devices support auto-authentication
AT&T adds 25,000 international hotspots to arsenal

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