Once the exclusive domain of senior executives, mobile devices are now indispensable to most employees for conducting both their business and personal lives. The insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data. In parallel, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Once shunned by corporate IT departments, Wi-Fi increasingly has made its way into most businesses.
Business users are the most valuable customer segment for mobile operators. Changes in mobile behavior and usage, particularly with regard to Wi-Fi, could have a significant impact on service providers’ (SPs) bottom line. However, there is little research on how mobile business users are actually using Wi-Fi, how they want to employ it in the future, and, more specifically, what is driving them to connect their devices to the Internet using Wi-Fi.
To learn more, the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted a survey of 540 U.S. mobile business users to understand their needs and behaviors, current and future mobile usage, and level of interest in Wi-Fi, as well as new forms of monetization.
The study revealed some interesting findings, including home being the most popular location where businesspeople use mobile devices, far surpassing the office or other place of work as a preferred location. Business users own an average of three mobile devices each, one-third more than consumers. And, close to 30 percent of them own a tablet. Business users prefer Wi-Fi to mobile to connect all of their mobile devices. In fact, more than one-half of business users take advantage of a public hotspot weekly to access the Internet.
The research findings are important because they help SPs understand the size of the opportunity, develop strategies for success, and differentiate their Wi-Fi business offerings and initiatives to become more competitive.