Hotspots To Stay Ad Hoc

More not-particularly-helpful analysis concerning the whole hotspot thing. Yet another analyst group is coming out saying that WiFi hotspots won’t be as big a deal as some people predict, which is increasingly becoming the party line. Their argument is that less than 3% of Americans have used a public hotspot, and a “negligible number” have become subscribers (5% of that 3%). I don’t see how that’s really relevant. For example, I’m a huge supporter of WiFi, and I am not a subscriber to any of these services because I don’t use them often enough to pay the ridiculously high fees they charge. I test some of them out, and I use them on occasion, but it’s not worth it for me to be a “subscriber”. That doesn’t mean that hotspots will fail. For example, this report seems to ignore free hotspots, which I use all the time. The report is also trying to extrapolate from very early data. If we looked at any product that goes through an adoption cycle, you see that the early adopters pick things up slowly before a mass audience gets into it. So, while I agree that commercial hotspots will have a problem, it’s because of their business model – not the idea itself. A report like this just says “it’s going to fail, because not enough people are adopting it”. That’s useless. A report of this nature needs to say why people won’t adopt it.

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