Users Like WiFi to Get Email, Maps, Video Conferencing Apps

1 - Users Like WiFi to Get Email, Maps, Video Conferencing Apps
2 - More Business Users Choose WiFi
3 - WiFi Is Faster and Cheaper
4 - Unconnected Employees Are Fuming Employees
5 - It's (Almost) All About Email
6 - Challenges of Transient WiFi
7 - Even Paid Isn't Perfect
8 - Make It Easy
9 - What It's Worth
10 - Travelers Choose Tablets
11 - Meeting Travelers' Needs
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Users Like WiFi to Get Email, Maps, Video Conferencing Apps

by Michelle Maisto

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More Business Users Choose WiFi

In a survey of 2,200-plus business travelers, 74 percent said they'd prefer a WiFi connection to a cellular one; 77 percent said connecting to WiFi is the biggest challenge to their productivity when they're traveling.

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WiFi Is Faster and Cheaper

More than 80 percent of respondents said they find WiFi faster and better able to handle large documents. Cellular, however, is more widely available—and far more expensive.

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Unconnected Employees Are Fuming Employees

A large majority (87 percent) said they feel "frustrated, angry or anxious" when their expectations for a WiFi connection, in expected locations like airports and hotels, aren't met. Yet 1 percent admitted to feeling "relieved."

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It's (Almost) All About Email

While access to Skype and mapping apps and cloud-based services are important to travelers, 95 percent said the thing they most need to connect to is email.

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Challenges of Transient WiFi

The number one irritant with free WiFi services is that the connection is often slow (74 percent). The next biggest complaints were the hassle of typing everything in and logging on (52 percent) and the lack of true security (36 percent).

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Even Paid Isn't Perfect

Business users who pay for WiFi access complained most of all about its expense (62 percent), followed by its lack of availability (36 percent). Like those using free services, 27 percent of those paying were irritated by the process of entering credit card information, but even more (29 percent) complained about the performance of the hotspot.

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Make It Easy

When asked what they want, business travelers said no advertisements or other "noise," and an easy, single log-in across all networks. iPass' new cloud-based service minimizes friction for users. iPass says businesses dictate which employees are allowed to connect, and it takes care of the rest.

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What It's Worth

Overpaying for WiFi—paying sometimes more during a single day of travel than for a month of service at home—takes an emotional toll. Even when it's the company that's paying, "Sometimes you can't bring yourself to feel ripped off," said Bower. "It's a huge issue."

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Travelers Choose Tablets

The iPass survey found business travelers increasingly turning to tablets. Said Bower, "70 percent of people are only traveling with a tablet and a smartphone … and 36 percent said they don't use a desktop computer anymore. The world is really changing for people and how they get their jobs done."

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Meeting Travelers' Needs

Despite 74 percent of business travelers saying they prefer a WiFi connection, only 7 percent said they "always" purchase WiFi when they travel, and nearly 80 percent said "never" or "seldom."

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