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For-Pay WiFi: No Dice?
[February 13, 2006]

For-Pay WiFi: No Dice?

By MICHELLE PASQUERELLO
Associate Editor, TMCnet Online Channels
 
According to a recent survey conducted by In-Stat, more than one-third of WiFi users only use free WiFi connections. So it’s no wonder that the cellular data pricing could damper future for-pay WiFi services.
 
Who wouldn’t want to have their WiFi and use it, too?
 
Consider this:
 
60 percent of WiFi users sometimes or always plan their travels based on WiFi availability while laptop/notebook computers are used for wireless data twice as much as mobile phones.
 
According to the release, while there is no shortage of excitement over free WiFi, hotspot operators have an opportunity to make use of the technology’s low barriers to entry.
 
In-Stat also reported that while 1Q04—1Q05 year-on-year WiFi revenue and shipment growth was strong, quarter-on-quarter growth figures demonstrated an overall slowdown.
 
In related news, Google and Skype invested in a startup  that will assist hotspot owners to start charging for WiFi access, a plan that has ISPs standing on the sidelines ready to oppose the notion.
 
According to the story, the issue with free WiFi is that everyone wants a freebie yet no one wants to provide the WiFi technology.

 
"Both cellular and WiFi are currently serving mobile data users" says Allyn Hall, In-Stat analyst. "However, so far, neither service has found the sweet spot, the perfect balance of speed, coverage, and price."
 
 
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Michelle Pasquerello is Associate Editor for TMCnet’s Online Channels. To see more of her articles, please visit Michelle Pasquerello’s columnist page.

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