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Wi-Fi Hotspot Explosion Continues -- in Europe

Posted by: Olga Kharif on July 17, 2008

This year, the number of hotspots globally will rise 40%, according to a July 17 forecast released by consultancy ABI Research, which notes that “the greatest growth and the largest number of hotspots continue to be found in Europe. While the UK has long led in European Wi-Fi hotspots, there is also marked growth in France, Germany, and Russia.”

Which begs the question: Why isn’t Wi-Fi in the U.S. growing as fast? Apple’s Wi-Fi-enabled iPhone was first introduced in America. Carriers like T-Mobile USA have been pushing home Wi-Fi phone services like Hotspot @ Home and @ Home. Starbucks recently began offering Wi-Fi service in its cafes for free. And the U.S. lags behind Europe in wireless data speeds of traditional wireless networks — which should be a major impetus for Americans to use Wi-Fi. So, why aren’t we using it as much as the Britons?

Reader Comments

July 18, 2008 7:19 AM

americans work more and longer hours with less vacation time. europe has more domestic, regional & foreign travelers - more people out of the office/school looking for a way to hookup.


July 18, 2008 9:06 AM

This is not the only area the U.S. lags in. Obviously some of our companies don't believe they can't suck enough blood from us to make it worth their wild.


July 20, 2008 9:19 AM

What is the compelling need for Wi-Fi? It is reasonable to assume that if you can't get a wireless connection, the people in the area can get along without it. Free wireless connections are not a moral obligation. When enough people are willing to pay, high bandwidth Wi-Fi will be everywhere. In Europe, you pay whether you use Wi-Fi or not.


July 20, 2008 11:21 PM

Why does it matter if the US lags in wireless? I do not use it. Granted there are many in the US that do. When I go out I do not bring any tech with me that utilizes it. I do not want to be connected 24/7. I use computers at home and at work on wired broadband networks. I have neither need nor desire for these wireless hotspots. I honestly see no need or reason to keep up with rest of the world just for sake of keeping up. When demand for it rises then the number of hotspots will rise as well imop. Until then why worry?



November 12, 2008 11:26 PM

I've definitely noticed that the growth of public wi-fi hotspots in the UK has been explosive. Canada (my home turf) on the other hand has been comparitively slow to adopt the technology.

82nd Street hotspot software

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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