The Wi-Fi hotspot market is entering a revival period marked by renewed interest from communication providers and increased usage among both business and leisure users, reports In-Stat. In-Stat estimates that hotspot usage will increase in 2009 by 47 percent, bringing total worldwide connects to 1.2 billion.

“A market that appeared to be languishing due to revenue shortcomings has found a renewed life force,” says Frank Dickson, In-Stat Analyst. “Mobile operators have become increasingly involved in the hotspot market globally as they assess the potential of hotspots to offload wireless data traffic from overburdened 3G networks. Also, mass market adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones has significantly altered hotspot usage, with these devices accounting for the majority of access sessions in some locations.” Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • Total worldwide hotspot venues will reach 245,000 locations in 2009.
  • AT&T is on course to experience 500 percent usage growth for 2008 vs. 2009.
  • Asia-Pacific will experience the greatest growth in venue deployments over the next few years, largely driven by large-scale deployments in China.
  • Survey results suggest that security concerns by individuals, not corporate users, are limiting hotspot usage.

The research, “Wi-Fi Hotspots: Cellular Handsets and Portable Devices Drive a Market Renaissance,” covers the worldwide market for Wi-Fi hotspots. It includes:

  • Forecasts of mobile handsets with embedded Wi-Fi sales through 2013.
  • Forecasts of hotspot venue and usage growth for North America, Asia and Europe through 2013.
  • Results and analysis of an In-Stat consumer survey.
  • Provider segmentation and deployment analysis.
  • Profiles of major players, including AT&T, Swisscom, Boingo, iPass and WeRoam.
  • Discussion of emerging applications.