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September 26, 2005

Global Wi-Fi Hotspot Near 100,000

Courtesy of EE Times

LONDON — There will be over 100,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots globally by the end of this year, with Europe and North America beginning to challenge the Asia-Pacific region’s early dominance, according to market research from Informa Telecoms & Media.

According to the company’s Wireless Broadband Analyst series, there were just over 84,000 hotspots operating at the end of the second quarter of this year, with most of the growth still concentrated on the Asia Pacific region, which expanded by 35 percent from 20,119 in the second half of last year to 27,171 in 2Q05.

The researchers recognize that the Asia Pacific market has been maturing, which has seen its share of the global market decline by 39 percent over the 12 months to ‘only’ 32 percent in 2Q05.

Over the same period Western Europe saw its hot-spot market share increase from 40 percent to 42 percent. North America also expanded its share from 21 percent to 26 percent.

According to Wireless Broadband Analyst, the fastest growing public Wi-Fi operator in Asia Pacific is Telstra which had 711 hotspots at the end of 2Q05, a growth of 110 percent from 339 at end 1Q05. Telstra’s expansion accounts for Australia becoming the fastest growing market in the region during the first half of the year, with 1,036 hotspots at the end of the quarter.

At the opposite end of the scale is Singapore which had 470 hotspots at the end 2Q05 down from 475 at the end 1Q05. This decline follows on from 1Q05 when there were 508 hotspots as a result of contraction by top operator Singtel.

The largest operator in the region remains Korea Telecom with 13,412 hotspots at the end of 2Q05, equivalent to 49 percent of the region’s total coverage and almost 16 percent of the total global market, making it the largest public Wi-Fi operator in the world.

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