WiFi networkexpectations for business professionals

“Mobile professionals increasingly expect to be connected to WiFi anywhere and everywhere,” new research confirms.

If ever there was any doubt about the importance of providing “always on WiFi” a new report reveals just how much it impacts the daily lives of professionals worldwide.

Global mobile connectivity provider iPass Inc. (ipass.com) recently released its annual iPass Mobile Professional Report 2017.

The research focuses on the connectivity and smartphone habits of more than 1,700 mobile professionals worldwide and their connectivity preferences.

Their findings underline those of Curve IT: that people are dependent on WiFi both in their business and personal lives – and now so reliant on smartphones that they will do almost anything – including break social etiquette – to use them.

Research highlights included:

  • Nearly two thirds of mobile professionals (62%) say they feel “anxious” when not connected
  • 72% admitted to checking their smartphone while they were in the toilet, 11% during a funeral and 7% while being intimate with another…
  • 61% said that WiFi was “impossible” or “very difficult” to give up – in fact harder to give up than sex (58%), junk food (42%), smoking (41%), and alcohol (33%)
  • A quarter of respondents (23%) would choose WiFi over other daily essentials such as a bath or shower, and 19% chose WiFi connectivity above human contact (yes you read that right)
  • After cost and location, WiFi is a mobile professionals’ top priority when choosing a hotel
  • Mobile workers connect to eight public hotspots every week on average; one in five connects to more than 20

“Technology, and particularly smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, that there’s no scenario in which people won’t check their phone,” said iPass chief commercial officer Patricia Hume. “Moreover, they expect to be connected to WiFi; mobile workers just want to be connected.”

WiFi empowers a productive workforce

WiFi’s importance to productivity is the biggest reason why mobile workers feel so lost without it. Of those respondents who said they felt anxious without it, 31% said it was because they would find it more difficult to work remotely.

The report shows that mobile professionals use WiFi and cellular data very differently. Whether due to mobile performance issues, data restrictions, or reliability, it is still the dominant force in connectivity, particularly for data-intensive tasks such as video conferencing. 90% of mobile professionals say that they regularly stream audio/video content over WiFi, vs. just 34 % who do so over a cellular connection. Even lower-bandwidth internet tasks such as accessing cloud services and browsing the internet were roughly twice as popular over WiFi.

This is not an isolated trend. There were several findings in the report that demonstrate the importance of Wi-Fi for mobile workforce productivity:

  • More than half of mobile workers (58%) said that having no/poor WiFi would negatively impact their ability to do their job
  • Half of respondents said that they want to be instantly connected to WiFi on arrival at a hotel (50%), business meeting (53%), or airport (48%)
  • More than two thirds (68%) said they had decided against using a WiFi service when the registration process was overly time consuming or frustrating

WiFi is still unmatched in terms of its performance and reliability, and employers have a duty to ensure their mobile workforce can connect easily and securely, wherever they are. (The financial cost of unproductive and unhappy employees can be severe, and no business can afford to neglect the connectivity needs of an ever more mobile workforce.)

Alongside the ever-growing demand for wireless connectivity on mobile devices is the need for a reliable and solid infrastructure, and this is where Curve IT can help.

After a site survey we provide comprehensive recommendations to ensure that all businesses and multi-tenant residential buildings have a secure, robust and fully scalable WiFi network. Curve IT is an official partner of Ruckus – the world’s leading WiFi manufacturer and innovator.

Written by Catherine Eade

Call us on 01273 806220 or email us to find out how we can help you.