143,700 commercial WiFi hotspots in 2006

In 2006 the number of commercial Wi-Fi hotspots will grow by 47% worldwide to 143,700. While 74% are still found in North America and Europe, the Asia Pacific region is growing very rapidly. Europe is still the market leader with over 57 mln hotspots. One major driver of Wi-Fi hot spots is retail establishments. A prominent example is McDonalds, which has moved to add hotspots to 17% of its 4,000 locations. ABI Research believes that voice over Wi-Fi will become a very attractive choice for many major hotel chains, both for their guests and for their staff. Schatt notes that by 2010 the hospitality industry will offer more than 109,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.