Look How Ubiquitous Wi-Fi Has Become

netbookwifiusage.pngWi-Fi has become an indispensable part of our daily lives — at least for those of us who live in the United States, Decipher reported in a survey conducted on behalf of Devicescape, a San Bruno, Calif., networking software maker, San Jose, Calif.-based chipmaker Intel, and Meraki, a networking hardware maker in San Francisco.

Devicescape is a popular application among iPhone and iPod Touch users because it eliminates the need to constantly log onto AT&T or other Wi-Fi networks using a password. As a result, the numbers in this survey might be slightly skewed, so take them with a grain of salt. And anyway, what can you expect from a survey that’s tied to three unabashed champions of Wi-Fi? But it is a good sign-post of the reality of Wi-Fi and its ubiquitous nature.

I can remember paying $350 for a Lucent Wi-Fi device many years ago, wondering when it would be possible to have a connected life without wires. Today, my entire apartment is wired with an Airport Extreme and a series of Airport Express devices for a seamless experience. Most of my other gadgets are wireless and, as I have shared previously, on-the-go Wi-Fi is part of my daily life. Looks like that dream is now a reality.

CellphoneWiFiusage.pngAs shown through my earlier posts about Wi-Fi’s smartphonedriven renaissance, we are now assuming the wireless technology is part of our daily work flow. Nearly 98 percent of Wi-Fi consumers log onto Wi-Fi networks once daily, while nearly 57 percent log in every day, according to the Decipher’s survey of 8,000 users of the technology.

The availability of Wi-Fi on mobile phones is driving use of WiFi networks across the country. For instance, the Google network in Mountain View, Calif., has seen a big spike in Wi-Fi use, with smartphones contributing nearly 25 percent of the total usage, according to a press release from Tropos Networks, a municipal Wi-Fi networking gear maker.

networksharing.pngAnd if that is not enough, nearly 90 percent of the survey respondents make hotel and travel decisions based on Wi-Fi availability, and nearly 96 percent expect it to be free. What’s more, many folks are musing about buying devices that have built-in Wi-Fi.

One of the more interesting findings of the survey was that a growing number of people are willing to share their wireless networks if there are appropriate systems in place. A good way to do so: Build a ratings system much like the one on eBay.

Does anyone else see the sweet irony in this? I mean, when municipal wireless debates were raging, phone companies couldn’t wait to get the Wi-Fi networks shut down. Today, the same technology is coming to the rescue of thoseĀ  companies.

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings


Comments have been disabled for this post