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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 12, 2010

JiWire: WiFi to become predominant connection for mobile users

When it comes to mobile phones it is no secret that the devices are being used for much more than simple talk. From texting to data plans, consumers are spending more on their mobiles. One change is that data card usage is shrinking while public WiFi access is on the upswing, a plus for marketers in the mobile space.

by Kristina Knight

jiwire.pngPublic hotspots, while they have some security problems, are increasingly popular with consumers on the go. Whether staying in touch with the office or simply surfing the net while waiting on line at a brick-and-mortar store, consumers are logging on much more often.

The Mobile Audience Insights Report found, in Q4 2009, 56% of consumers are connecting to the Internet via a smartphone or mobile device (public hotspots). JiWire predicts that there will be a 15% increase in free WiFi hotspots in the US by year's end.

David Staas, senior vice president of marketing, at JiWire said (via Center for Media Research), "With the proliferation of mobile devices, more people are accessing the Internet outside their homes and offices, whether on a mobile phone, netbook or even a gaming device. [Over] 890 million new Internet enabled wireless devices are expected to ship this year alone...revolutionizing how people integrate media into their daily lives."

Laptops continue to rule the mobile space with 83% of users logging on from a laptop but nearly 60% are now logging on from a smartphone. Netbooks (10%) and gaming devices (7%) are also being used, along with eBooks and cameras. Where are consumers connecting? Hotels, airports, and cafes/bookstores remain hot spots for hotspots with both cafes and airports showing a 20+% increase in WiFi areas.

What are consumers doing in the mobile realm?

• 90% are making purchases, 47% while they are on the go
• Checking news headlines
• Conducting search queries
• Social networking

Tags: JiWire, mobile hotspots, mobile marketing, smartphones, WiFi

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