Bad public Wi-Fi affects the work of 75% of business travellers

Eight in ten business travellers prefer Wi-Fi than data when working outside the office, but three quarters find a lack of access a barrier to their mobile working, a study has found.

The Business Traveller Connectivity Report has highlighted intrinsic problems with both free and credit card-based Wi-Fi for business travelers. 36% of free Wi-Fi users have little confidence in security, and 32% objected to dealing with intrusive advertising.

63% of credit card-based Wi-Fi users find it to be overpriced, and 27% hate the hassle of constantly having to enter credit card details.

Both free and credit card-based Wi-Fi users found login and registration processes to be cumbersome (53% and 33% respectively), which is a source of added stress. 

“The wireless landscape has been disrupted by the rapidly increasing availability of Wi-Fi, which is now the dominant form of wireless access,” said Evan L. Kaplan, President and CEO of iPass. “This phenomenon has spawned a ‘Wi-Fi first’ generation that uses cellular data only when Wi-Fi isn’t available.

>See also: Total connection – Singapore’s public Wi-Fi

“Business travellers are especially reliant on Wi-Fi, but they are also increasingly frustrated by the hoops they must leap through to navigate a complex and challenging Wi-Fi ecosystem that can include advertising, logins and payments with each session, frequent timeouts, and unpredictable and expensive fees.”

The report indicates that business travellers on the move are actively using bandwidth-hungry apps, such as unified communications tools (45%) and cloud based business applications (43%), creating ever-greater demand for reliable Wi-Fi connectivity.

Further, the report also highlights that business travellers’ expectations for Wi-Fi are still not being met, primarily in airports, where 53% of respondents found services to be below expectations, and also in hotels (43%).

On airplanes, 60% of respondents expect Wi-Fi to be available, and 58% are disappointed when it isn’t. 63% felt in-flight Wi-Fi is too expensive, and the same percentage of respondents thought it was not sufficiently available.

When business travellers cannot access Wi-Fi, a staggering 87% become angry and anxious.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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