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Hotspots Usage To Keep Growing: Study

Usage of wireless hotspots -- and the number of available hotspots -- will continue to grow at a rapid rate into the foreseeable future, market research firm In-Stat said in a study released Tuesday.

The study predicted that the number of hotspots will nearly double, with almost 200,000 being available by the end of 2009. In addition, revenues from hotspot usage will increase from a projected $969 for this year to 3.46 billion, according to the study.

However, the rapid growth will start to cool somewhat in the near future, an author of the study predicted.

"While the number of venues will continue to grow, the pace of this growth is expected to slow beginning in 2006 as the market begins to mature," In-Stat analyst Amy Cravens said in a statement. She added that revenues also will slow because the number of free hotspots will be increasing.

Cafes and restaurants will account for nearly half the hotspot locations by 2009, according to the study.