WiFi Usage Up for International Business Travelers

Posted on September 24, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

HOUSTON – Mobile broadband users at Houston-area WiFi hotspots log in for an average of 77 minutes per session, while usage at William P. Hobby Airport is skyrocketing, according to a national survey.

The semi-annual study by California-based iPass Inc. shows that worldwide business WiFi usage increased by 46% through the first six months of 2008 compared to same period in 2007. For the first time, European business traffic at WiFi hotspots eclipsed that of North America, accounting for 47% of worldwide usage. North American usage slipped from 56% last year to 45% in the latest period.

“Business people worldwide continue to do more work away from the office, whether on a business trip, commuting or checking e-mail at a cafe or restaurant,” said Joel Wachtler, iPass vice president of marketing and strategy.

London remains the top city for business users of WiFi, followed by two fast-growth cities, Singapore and Tokyo. The city with the most impressive year-over-year growth is Bonn, Germany.

Chicago is now the top U.S. city for WiFi usage — excluding airport and hotel usage — while Houston ranked 8th globally with 6,366 sessions logged at an average of 77 minutes, a 19% gain from the year-earlier period.

Airports are still the most popular place worldwide for WiFi usage, accounting for 40% of overall sessions.

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport again topped the list of airports worldwide with 3% of WiFi business use, followed by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, London’s Heathrow Airport, and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at No. 4. Hobby Airport was ranked No. 13 with 23,988 sessions logged in for an average of 39 minutes apiece. George Bush Intercontinental Airport was not ranked.

WiFi users at hotels like to log on for the longest sessions, averaging about 167 minutes, followed by about 60 minutes at cafes and coffee shops, and 40 minutes at airports.

The survey also shows that data traffic for 2.5G and 3G mobile broadband services grew by 59% through the first half of 2008.

Source: Houston Business Journal

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