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Hotspot deployments grow 50%

The number of commercial wifi hotspots worldwide is forecast to grow almost 50 per cent during 2006, as a strong growth curve emerges in the Asia Pacific region.

Figures published by ABI Research on Thursday predict that the number of commercial wifi hotspots will grow by 47 per cent worldwide to 143,700.

While almost three quarters of these sites are still found in North America and Europe, deployment in the Asia Pacific region are growing rapidly. “By 2011 the Asia Pacific region will surpass both Europe and North America in the number of wifi hotspots,” said ABI vice president and research director Stan Schatt.

At present though, Europe is still the market leader with over 57,000 hotspot deployments.

Schatt said that the major drivers for wifi hotspot deployments are retail establishments and hotel chains. “A prominent example is McDonalds, which has moved to add hotspots to 17 per cent of its 4,000 locations,” he said. Meanwhile, Schatt predicts that by 2010 the hospitality industry will offer more than 109,000 wifi hotspots around the globe.


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