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Global Wi-Fi Hotspot Coverage Approaching 100,000

LONDON — There will be over 100,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots globally by the end of this year, with Europe and North America beginning to challenge the Asia-Pacific region’s early dominance, according to market research from Informa Telecoms & Media.

According to the company’s Wireless Broadband Analyst series, there were just over 84,000 hotspots operating at the end of the second quarter of this year, with most of the growth still concentrated on the Asia Pacific region, which expanded by 35 percent from 20,119 in the second half of last year to 27,171 in 2Q05.

The researchers recognize that the Asia Pacific market has been maturing, which has seen its share of the global market decline by 39 percent over the 12 months to ‘only’ 32 percent in 2Q05.

Over the same period Western Europe saw its hot-spot market share increase from 40 percent to 42 percent. North America also expanded its share from 21 percent to 26 percent.

According to Wireless Broadband Analyst, the fastest growing public Wi-Fi operator in Asia Pacific is Telstra which had 711 hotspots at the end of 2Q05, a growth of 110 percent from 339 at end 1Q05. Telstra’s expansion accounts for Australia becoming the fastest growing market in the region during the first half of the year, with 1,036 hotspots at the end of the quarter.

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