Asia dominates Wi-Fi hotspots, ABI says

The number of hotspots will more than double by 2018, and almost 70 percent are in Asia-Pacific

More than two-thirds of the world's Wi-Fi hotspots are in the Asia-Pacific region, partly because of huge deployments by mobile operators in China, and the number of hotspots worldwide is expected to more than double by 2018.

There were 4.2 million hotspots by the end of 2013, with 68.6 percent of them in Asia-Pacific, ABI Research said in a report published Thursday. ABI expects the worldwide total to hit 10.5 million by 2018. Those rollouts will be driven by growing demand for mobile data, ABI said.

Wi-Fi can deliver fast wireless data without using scarce and expensive licensed frequencies, so carriers deploy it to beef up their cellular networks and wired service providers use it to get into mobile. Wi-Fi specialists such as Fon are also in the game, building their own hotspots and providing access to those built by others. Consumers benefit because their data use on Wi-Fi typically doesn't count against monthly limits.

China, already the world's largest mobile market and one where new cellular spectrum licenses have sometimes been long in coming, has embraced Wi-Fi in a big way. China has about 620,000 hotspots, including 420,000 deployed by China Mobile, 128,000 by China Telecom, and 72,000 by China Unicom, ABI said.

Latin America is the second most wired region for Wi-Fi hotspots, with 12.3 percent of the world's total, the report says. One big player there is the cellular carrier Oi, which has already completed a rollout of 500,000 hotspots in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, at the end of last year Europe had 9.0 percent of the globe's hotspots, North America had 8.7 percent and the Middle East and Africa region had 1.4 percent, ABI said.

ABI's hotspot growth forecast comes out to an average of 15 percent per year. That will help to absorb a dramatic increase in data traffic going over mobile networks, rising from 23,000 petabytes last year to 190,000 petabytes in 2018, the company said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilewirelessNetworkingchina mobileABI researchWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?