Business travellers spurn Wi-Fi

Less than a fifth of UK business travellers use Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the internet while travelling.

Less than a fifth of UK business travellers use Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the internet while travelling.

A survey of 2,000 business travellers in the US and the UK by analyst Gartner showed that take-up was low, despite the rapidly increasing number of hotspots in places like hotels, airports and coffee bars.

Gartner found that only 17% of UK business travellers used WiFi hotspots, while just 25% of US users used Wi-Fi – this despite the US having the most hotspots in the world.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots have been available for several years and makers of laptop PCs have offered built-in Wi-Fi radio antennas for the past two.

However, Gartner found that users are abstaining from using the technology for educational, cultural and financial reasons rather than technological apprehension.

Gartner analyst Delia MacMillan said, “While Wi-Fi has come a long way, our survey shows that many business travellers remain uncertain as to why they should use Wi-Fi, what equipment they need, how they can connect and what they will be charged.”

She said, “If Wi-Fi providers really want to attract new customers, they must convince both end users and organisations of its benefits.”

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