Wi-Fi wake-up call: Hotel Wi-Fi is second only to a comfortable bed

iPass Inc., provider of mobile services for enterprises and telecom service providers, has published its Q3 Mobile Workforce Report. According to the report, mobile workers around the globe ranked, in order of importance, hotel Wi-Fi, as second only to having a comfortable bed. Wi-Fi has become a "must-have" for business travelers, trumping other standard amenities such as hotel restaurants, in-room mini-bars, and gym facilities. The report not only points out that Wi-Fi has been elevated from a simple amenity, but its importance is directly influencing where corporate travel dollars are spent for lodging and airfare.

"It's clear that people's working habits are changing  - we all knew that people were staying connected with the business whilst on vacation, but we never realised how much. As our own holiday season comes to a close, the report shows that only 8% disconnect completely from the office at all whilst on holiday – over half engage in serious ongoing work using corporate applications, rather than brief email checks - and they are paying for it. There is a real opportunity here for resellers specialized in mobility solutions to educate their customers on how working habits are changing, and support them with effective connectivity solutions." Said Rene Hendrikse, VP EMEA, iPass.

"Quality Wi-Fi is now a make-or-break proposition, progressively more a key factor in driving hotel and airline choices. The hospitality and travel industry must heed the call to meet the needs of their increasingly connected clientele, as there is an enormous disconnect between what business travellers expect, and what is being provided to them.  Connectivity is becoming a basic need, no matter where we travel," said Rene Hendrikse, VP EMEA, iPass.

Q3 2013 iPass Mobile Workforce Report: Wi-Fi Wake-Up Call Highlights:

  • High bandwidth apps. 82 percent feel that free hotel Wi-Fi services to be limited, slow, and unreliable. More than a third of respondents reported using high bandwidth apps that demand continuous, high-quality connectivity, such as unified communications; they rely on cloud-based business applications and collaboration apps to get the job done.
  • Tablets: Regardless of platform, a disruptive force for Wi-Fi connectivity. Tablet computers continue to be a favorite among mobile workers. The 10-inch iPad is still the preferred device. 47 percent of respondents chose 7- and 8-inch tablets as an intended tablet purchase in the next six months. This compares with 29 percent of respondents who had plans to purchase the full-size iPad.
  • Inflight Internet is flying high. Wi-Fi inflight is top of mind for business travelers when choosing airlines. Close to one-third of those surveyed indicated that they take Wi-Fi into consideration when choosing a flight.
  • Price awareness: 81 percent of respondents believe that the cost of mobile data roaming is either "too high," or "way too high." In 2012, 20 percent of workers had no opinion on the topic of roaming prices, but this year, that figure dropped to 13 percent, which indicates that awareness of the high cost of data roaming is growing.
  • Vacation time is connected time. The majority of mobile workers log onto the Internet for business while on holiday, and they're logging in more often than ever before. 37 percent of mobile workers now report connecting two to five times a day, which is up from 29 percent at this time last year. The number of users who log in five or more times a day grew from six percent a year ago to 13 percent this year.
  • Consequences of a bad experience. 81 percent have had an unsatisfactory experience with hotel Wi-Fi in the past year. 82 percent feel that free hotel Wi-Fi services are limited, slow, and unreliable. 74 percent say that a bad Wi-Fi experience in a hotel would prevent a return visit.

Business travelers have come to rely on Wi-Fi as a primary source of connectivity, a trend brought on by the wide spread use of connected dependent mobile devices and the enterprise applications needed to get the job done. Corporate travelers are driving the demand for hotels, airlines, and other public facilities to provide a high quality, affordable, and easy-to-use Wi-Fi to maintain seamless connectivity no matter where they go.

About the Report: The Q3 2013 iPass Mobile Workforce Report is based on information gathered in an online survey from over 1,375 respondents who identify as mobile workers at hundreds of enterprises worldwide. iPass asked these respondents about their habits and preferences regarding Wi-Fi, smartphone, and tablet usage, and their feelings about Internet access for these devices for business and leisure travel in hotels around the world. The survey was conducted between June 27, 2013, and July 19, 2013, and represented employees across varied geographies and profile demographics. Their common denominator was that they identified themselves as employees who traveled for business purposes.

To see the report visit: http://www.ipass.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/ipass-mobile-workforce-report-q3-2013.pdf

About iPass Inc.: iPass helps enterprises and telecom service providers ensure their employees and subscribers stay well connected. Founded in 1996, iPass (NASDAQ: IPAS) delivers the world's largest commercial-grade Wi-Fi network and trusted connectivity platform. With more than 1.2 million Wi-Fi hotspots across 123 countries and territories, iPass gives its customers always-on, frictionless connectivity for smartphones, tablets and laptops anywhere in the world -- simply, securely and cost-effectively. Additional information is available at www.iPass.com or on Smarter Connections, the iPass blog.

For more information, visit: http://www.ipass.com


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