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A recent study shows that the UK has 34 percent of hotspots in Europe and that the price of access to hotspots is dropping: The study showed that the price of weekly subscriptions has dropped quite a bit this year and that just 10 per cent of access is paid for by regular contract. It’s good news that prices are falling but they’ll need to fall more if hotspot operators are to attract more users.
Bitbuzz, a hotspot operator in Dublin, conducted a user survey to find out more information about its customers and came up with some interesting findings: Women make up 45 percent of Bitbuzz users. Bitbuzz also found that 69 percent of the Wi-Fi users also have broadband access at home and 52 percent of them have portable MP3 players. Those two items definitely indicate that Wi-Fi users here are technology early adopters, especially given how hard it can be to get broadband access in Dublin. Bitbuzz also found that 26 percent of its users connect via Macs and 28 percent use PDAs. That figure is especially surprising to me because I have a general impression that while more and more PDAs ship with Wi-Fi these days, not many people really use it. I must be wrong about that, at least among the population of PDA users here in Dublin.
An IDC study showed that the WLAN market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa increased by 9.2 percent in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the second quarter: Over 1 million base station were shipped, mostly to the residential market. Siemens, Cisco, Netgear, and D-Link lead the market as vendors.
Airespace seems to be setting itself apart from the WLAN switch market, in Europe as well as the U.S. Revenue for the company increased and it now hold the top position in the wireless switch market, above Symbol.