Wi-Fi Just Wants to Be Free, But Not all Businesses Agree

Everybody wants Wi-Fi, but nobody wants to pay for it. A new In-Stat study examines the unsurprising decline in hotspot access revenues and what hotspot operators are doing to offset the costs.

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Other WLAN operators are still charging for Wi-Fi access because that's their business model. "It is hard for them to just walk away from that revenue stream even if it will decline," Schoolar says. (To read how Wi-Fi and IT are helping Starbucks' companywide transformation, see "How IT Systems Can Help Starbucks Fix Itself.")

That decline in access revenues will begin in 2010 in United States and in 2012 in the rest of the world, Schoolar predicts. "The U.S. market is more competitive with free sites along with proliferation of cellular data and WiMax rollouts," he adds.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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