Today we’re going to talk about a range of WiFi statistics collected from various sources around the web. The aim is to give you some insight into the pervasiveness of WiFi usage and perhaps show you why you need to offer WiFi to your customers.

3G/LTE-enabled vs. WiFi-enabled tablets

Even though Apple sold over 3 million of the latest iPad family of devices in the first 3 days of launch back in 2012, only 10% of them had a mobile connection.  What does this tell us? 90% of Apple users choose only to use only a WiFi connection on their tablets. Most users will also have a smartphone to take care of their mobile network connectivity. Are users afraid of running up large 3G and 4G bills while streaming movies on their tablets while out? In 2013, Lightspeed concluded that 86% of all tablets required a WiFi connection to access the internet.

Smartphone connectivity to WiFi hotspots

If so it could go some way to explaining, according to the JiWire mobile Audience Insights Report for Q4 2012, that almost 80% of mobile consumers are influenced by the availability of in-store WiFi, and mobile usage on public WiFi hotspots increased by 53% between Q42011 and Q42012. Statistics show that 75% of users use WiFi on their smartphone.

There are also some interesting data collected that shows the growth of smartphone WiFi usage by venue type, shown in the table below. Restaurants show a massive percentage of connections by smartphone. So it’s really important for those venues (and indeed all venue types) to offer an easy to use wifi login platform that scales to mobile devices to their customers.

Paying for WiFi

Unsurprisingly, customers are far less likely to pay for WiFi these days. In 2012’s Jwire survey, 85% prefer to gain access to free WiFi in exchange for viewing advertising content or similar instead. One great advantage of Fusion WiFi’s social wifi hotspot is that it allows completely free access to the internet for your customers.

It’s worth noting that in a 2014 report, the most important in-room amenity that guests expected was Internet/Free WiFi access. That’s above a bathroom, TV and air conditioning. However, guests also expect it to be free, or at least have the option to upgrade to a faster WiFi if they want to stream movies. If you are one of those hotel chains that’s still charging for WiFi, then you should reconsider.

What is the future of Public WiFi?

At Fusion WiFi, we think that the statistics speak for themselves. More and more people are using more and more devices to connect to the web, and more and more people expect to be connected wherever they go. Free WiFi is becoming, if it hasn’t already, a basic right along with air and water, at least in the consumer’s eyes.

To help businesses, we created Social WiFi, a way for you to offer free WiFi to your customers. It’s much more than that, however. You can create a beautiful branded login page that allows customers to log in simply and easily using their Social Media credentials (no more lengthy forms asking for reams of information).

In return, you get access to information contained in those social media accounts (including but not limited to name, email address, location and relationship status), which you can use to really get to know your customers. Your marketing efforts will be much more targeted and effective.