Public WLANs are gaining popularity

Interest is growing in the deployment and use of public wireless local area networks (WLANs), according to In-Stat/MDR.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  June 4, 2002

Interest is growing in the deployment and use of public wireless local area networks (WLANs), according to In-Stat/MDR. A recent study by the group discovered that while 19% of respondents are already using public WLANs, a further 33% are extrmemly interested in utilising them in the future.

In-Stat believes that the growing interest in public WLANs offers an additional market opportunity to telcos and cellular carriers.

"With their billing skills and existing customer bases, cellular providers are in a unique position to take advantage of this interest," says Becky Diercks, a director at In-Stat/MDR.

"By offering public WLAN services, carriers could ultimately increase their average revenue per user (ARPU), something that has definitely proved a challenge in the current economic environment."

Respondents also supported the provision and billing of public WLANs by their mobile phone service providers. While the preferences of the business traveller came to the fore when locations were the issue. Airports, hotels and convention centres were the top three locations for public WLANs to be implemented.

E-mail was cited by 98% of respondents as something they would like to access via a public WLAN.

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