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Friday, 13 June 2014 11:52

Capital cities in race to be Australia’s WiFi hotspot Featured

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Since launching free blanket wifi coverage across the CBD last November, Perth has vaulted from last to become the nation’s wireless hotspot capital among smartphone users according to new research.

New stats from research firm Roy Morgan shows in the six months to September 2013, less than 1 in 5 of Perth’s smartphone users (19%) had accessed the internet via a wireless hotspot within an average three month period—behind those in Brisbane (28%), Sydney and Melbourne (24%) and Adelaide (20%).

Six months later, with ‘Perth Wifi’ activated, and 29% of smartphone users in Perth are connecting at hotspots.

The popularity of hotspots also grew in Melbourne and Adelaide over the period, up to 27% and 25% respectively, with the proportion in Brisbane down slightly.

Sydney, the city with the highest proportion of residents with a smartphone, now has the lowest rate of hotspot usage with just 23% of smartphone owners.

Other state capitals are also on the way to providing residents, workers and visitors with blanket wifi coverage. Adelaide is due to launch its more extensive CBD, inner suburban and mobile festival coverage within weeks, while governments in both Melbourne and Brisbane have recently committed to expanding their CBD networks.

Proportion of Smartphone users connecting at wifi hotspots in an average three months:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – September 2013 n = 2548, October 2013 – March 2014 n = 2188 Australians aged 14+ with a smartphone as main mobile phone.

Tim Martin, General Manager of Media with Roy Morgan Research, said the research showed Aussie were hungry for free WiFi.

“The iiNet Group, which includes iiNet and Internode, has partnered with city councils and state governments to develop and offer free wifi to residents, city workers and visitors, with ‘Perth Wifi’ launching late last year and ‘AdelaideFree’ coming online very soon.

“Other cities are catching on, with Melbourne broadening its trial, Brisbane adding new hotspot locations and iiNet continuing its roll-out with the development of free wifi in Canberra.

“Telstra recently announced plans to offer a unique wifi hotpot service that is free to its subscribing customers who are willing to share their home wifi, and available for a fee to others.”


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