iPass surveyed more than 1,700 mobile professionals worldwide about their connectivity habits and preferences, highlighting the ever-increasing influence of Wi-Fi on our daily lives.
- 40 percent of respondents chose Wi-Fi as their number one daily essential, designating it as a higher priority than sex (37 percent), chocolate (14 percent) and alcohol (9 percent)
- 75 percent of respondents said that Wi-Fi has improved their quality of life
- 63 percent of respondents prefer using Wi-Fi hotspots over mobile data
- 75 percent of respondents said data is more important than minutes when choosing a cellular contract.
Wi-Fi influences travel choices
For mobile professionals who don’t want to be stung by data bills or exorbitant roaming charges, Wi-Fi has become a travel essential, influencing hotel, airport and other travel choices.
- 72 percent of respondents have chosen a hotel based on the Wi-Fi experience, with 21 percent saying they do so all the time
- 35 percent stated the Wi-Fi experience has influenced their choice of airline
- 72 percent use free Wi-Fi at airports if it is available
- 73 percent of respondents have never paid for airport Wi-Fi for professional use, and this number rises to 78 percent for personal use.
“The Wi-Fi experience is increasingly affecting mobile professionals’ travel choices, even at 30,000 feet, with more than a third of respondents having selected their airline based on its Wi-Fi connectivity offerings. Long gone are the days when Wi-Fi was only a ‘nice-to-have’ at airports and inflight. Mobile professionals are no longer content to sit and wait for their flights. Instead, they want to remain productive or simply unwind during this valuable time,” said Patricia Hume, chief commercial officer of iPass.
Companies find safe mobile usage policies difficult to enforce
The survey also highlights the extent to which mobile security remains the biggest obstacle to the use of free Wi-Fi and illustrates the difficulties companies have enforcing safe mobile use policies:
- One in two mobile professionals stated their company allows them to use a personal device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) to access corporate data/systems via public or remote Wi-Fi
- 66 percent of mobile professionals said they were worried about data security when using free Wi-Fi hotspots
- However, 42 percent will still access company data using public Wi-Fi
- 38 percent of respondents have never used a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect their data
- Only 9 percent list corporate data loss as one of their main fears if their device were to be lost or stolen. By comparison, six times as many respondents were likely to be worried about losing contact information (57 percent) and almost half (49 percent) feared losing their photos.
“Unfortunately, the priorities of companies and their employees seem to be worlds apart. Employees have vast troves of valuable data on their smartphones, but are considerably less concerned about losing sensitive corporate data than they are about losing their personal information. It’s clear that companies still need to do a lot more to educate their employees regarding mobile security risks and provide robust safe usage guidelines. Ultimately, in today’s Wi-Fi first world, mobile professionals need to be equipped with the tools they need to remain productive wherever they are, while ensuring the use of public Wi-Fi doesn’t expose their corporate data to ever-growing security risks,” concluded Hume.