Internet Everywhere – Wi-Fi Hotspots to Double Next Year


Having a smartphone is almost pointless if it does not offer you regular access to the web. There are two main options here. The first is to pay for mobile internet. However, the speed in this case is often slow and the data traffic is quite limited… for the price. The second involves connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Unfortunately, even though these hotspots have increased in number over the past two years, there is a lot more to be desired. The good news is that things will become better. To be more specific, things will become twice as good, at least this is one a new research predicts.

Statics released by ABI show that Wi-Fi hotspots in the world will almost double in 2015. According to experts, in 2013 hotspots around the world amounted to 4.2 million. Next year, this number is predicted to hit the astonishing 7.1 million, which is an almost two-times increase. Moreover, analysts are confident that by 2018, Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide will reach 10.5 million. Free Internet for everyone!

Well, we may have to take it easy on the excitement. According to ABI, nearly 70% of all hotspots in the world are located in the Asia-Pacific. Second is Latin America with a hotspot share of 12.3%, followed by Europe (9%) and North America (8.7%).

Where does MENA stand in this ranking? At the very bottom. The Wi-Fi hotspot share of the Middle East and Africa amounts to barely 1.4%. This tiny percentage includes hotspots by third-party operators, fixed-line and mobile carriers.

In China, the situation is quite different. Throughout the Asia country there are about 620,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. Impressive are also the statistics in Brazil. The country had to increase its hotspots ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. As a result, it now has 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots that can be used by both locals and tourists.

Despite these regional differences, the facts shows that access to public Wi-Fi is increasing worldwide. ABI’s analysts explain that this is mainly due to the increasing demand for mobile data. If predictions for 10.5 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2018 come true, mobile data traffic will reach almost unimaginable rates. In 2013, traffic through mobile devices was estimated at 23,000 patabytes, which is equal to one quadrillion bytes (a number containing 15 zeros!). In less than four years, however, this might reach 190,000 petabytes.


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