February 27, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
With so many WiFi networks installed in homes around the country, it’s easy to become dependent on wireless devices—and maybe a little forgetful. After all, once you leave the house, that access can cost you. Well, some consumers think that such convenience should follow wherever they roam.
A recent study by Devicescape found 88 percent of consumers thinking that WiFi should be available everywhere, all of the time. In fact, those same respondents looked at wireless technology the same as any other common household utility.
It’s not that surprising, since so many people rely on WiFi for email, as well as remote monitoring, security and more. If WiFi was readily available, users wouldn’t have to worry about expensive wireless data packages or hardware. Something as inexpensive as the $199 NOOK Tablet or Kindle Fire could handle home control both in and out of the home.
Apparently, people are willing to sacrifice a little for that type of access, though—at least when it comes to security. Almost half (46.9 percent) of respondents said they would connect to an insecure WiFi network or compromise privacy, while almost 35 percent didn’t think about security at all. Other stats from the survey show:
- Over 80 percent of consumers seek out WiFi for smartphone or tablet devices.
- 40 percent want improved WiFi access on trains.
- 39 percent think WiFi should be readily available on planes.
- 64 percent don’t care which WiFi service provider they use.
“People are no longer content with WiFi being a service which is confined to their offices and homes,” commented Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape. “We’re starting to see WiFi being perceived to be as common as your standard household utility; and just like any utility, people feel indignant when it is unavailable, or doesn’t work as well as it should.”
Devicescape says that data-traffic across mobile networks grew by 133 percent in 2011, thanks to increased smartphone and tablet use. The company also says that between now and 2016, smartphone data use is expected to rise from 150MB per month to 2500MB per month. About 31 percent of that data will be offloaded, making WiFi access crucial.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.