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9/19/2007
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Business Travelers Feed Wi-Fi Hotspot Growth

Average daily usage of Wi-Fi by travelers increased 25% to 85 minutes in the first half of this year, according to a survey from iPass

IPass, a provider of a global remote access network, released its latest Wi-Fi hotspot report this week, which revealed that a growing number of businesspeople are using hotspots to stay productive on the road.

In its Wi-Fi Hotspot Index, iPass found that usage of Wi-Fi hotspots by traveling businesspeople increased by 68% between the second half of last year and the first half of this year.

Businesspeople are also connecting over Wi-Fi for longer periods of time. For example, the average daily usage of Wi-Fi increased 25% to 85 minutes in the first half of this year, up from 70 minutes in the second half of last year. In China and Korea, users averaged more than three hours online a day.

"These results indicate that business demand for Wi-Fi hotspots has grown from a novelty to a mainstream need," said Joel Wachtler, VP of marketing and strategy at iPass.

Data in the index tracks hotspot usage within iPass' virtual global network, which consists of 80,000 hotspots in more than 85 countries. The data was collected by iPass across its base of over 3,000 business customers. The report summarizes nearly two million "sessions," which refers to one user logging into a given location one or more times during a single day.

Airports are most popular places for business travelers to connect, according to iPass. Hotels are second on the list, since they are also places where businesspeople are looking to stay productive during downtime. Airports accounted for 56% of the total sessions, while hotels accounted for 30% of the total sessions.

iPass also provided a list of the top airports and hotels around the world in its index.

  1. The top 5 airports include:
  2. O'Hare International Airport, Chicago
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
  4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  5. San Francisco International Airport
  6. Heathrow Airport, London

The top 5 hotels include:

  1. World Center Marriott, Orlando, U.S.
  2. The Airport Sun Intercontinental, Johannesburg, South Africa
  3. Holiday Inn Eindhoven, Netherlands
  4. San Francisco Marriott, U.S.
  5. Chang Gung Hotel, Taiyuan, Taiwan

The full index is available in PDF format at the iPass Web site.

Other findings in the report show that the U.S. had the largest Wi-Fi usage, accounting for 56% of the global total. But it was Europe that showed the most growth, accounting for 36% of the global total, up from 31% in the second half of last year. London is the city with the most Wi-Fi sessions, followed by New York City.

Cities that made it into the top ten include Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Singapore, San Francisco, Munich, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

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