New Study Takes a Look at the Wi-Fi Market

Pronto Networks, which offers operational support systems for Wi-Fi wireless networks and hot spot locations, has released a usage study from TeleAnalytics Inc. that will pique the interest of cable operators.

The study delves into current hot-spot activity in areas such as hotels, multiple dwelling units and RV parks, as well as providing revenue and usage patterns statistics. Many cable operators have just begun dipping their toes into the wireless-fidelity waters as an adjunct to their cable-modem business.

The study found that café hot spot users are online an average of 1.5 hours per day, compared to just under four hours per day by users at Wi-Fi-equipped hotels. Cafés were at their busiest at 2 p.m., while the peak time at hotels was 9 p.m. Peak usage at MDUs, RV parks and other areas where service is based on monthly-subscription models was 8 p.m.

The survey found that revenue at hotel locations was based on a number of factors, including hotel location, pricing and Wi-Fi coverage, but it can exceed $30 a month.

Download rates also varied by location, with hotels averaging 50 Megabits per second, compared to 20 Mbps at cafés.

“We found that a number of hot spot locations are actually doing very well,” said TeleAnalytics principal consultant John Pantelidis in a prepared statement. “Given the right capex planning, marketing, pricing strategy and location selection, hot spot operators can expect speedy service uptake. Same hotel Wi-Fi usage growth sometimes exceeded 150% in a single year.”

Pronto said some MDUs and hotels reach Wi-Fi penetration rates of 30%, just six to seven months after launch.

“There is an appetite in the public WLAN market for reliable revenue and usage data on various types of hot spots and for real insight into their daily operations,” Pronto CEO Jasbir Sigh said.