The UK has been ranked as 3rd in the world for Wi-Fi hotspots, research from wireless network iPass has found. Currently, there is 1 Wi-Fi hotspot for every 11 people in the UK, but iPass predicts this will increase to 1 for every 5 people by 2018.
UK households are increasing the number of Wi-Fi hotspots in the country as BT and other providers encourage consumers to share their home Wi-Fi by offering them access to hotspot networks. A household’s Wi-Fi is securely shared through a second network and login to give access to the general public. At the moment more than 5 million UK homes share their Wi-Fi connection with iPass predicting that this will more than double by 2018 to around 13 million households.
June Bower, CMO, iPass, said: ’Every other home in the UK will be a public Wi-Fi provider by 2018. That’s pretty amazing. The UK is already great for Wi-Fi hotspots but you can see that things are only going to get better.’
It remains to be seen what affect the growth of Wi-Fi hotspots will have on mobile connections but as David Nowicki, CMO at Devicescape explains, operators may be well placed to take advantage of the trend: ‘Many operators have already invested in Wi-Fi infrastructure to complement their cellular networks. This places them well ahead of the competition in the race to provide a consistent data connection to the end user. Operators like Republic Wireless and Scratch Wireless in the US are even basing their entire smartphone offerings on Wi-Fi access supplemented with wholesale cellular capacity when needed.’
BT is rumoured to be exploring the possibility of boosting its forthcoming MVNO’s coverage using its Wi-Fi hotspot network.