Earth will be Wi-Fi hotspot galore by 2018, according to new study


A study by iPass suggests that in four years time we will have more Wi-Fi hotspots than we know what to do with.

If you are someone that has a strict mobile data cap, poor cellular coverage or just always like to be connected wherever you are then this might be news that you're happy to hear.

An American wireless network provider claims that by the year 2018 the earth will be covered by more than 340 million wi-fi hotspots, which is approximately seven-times more than the 47.7 million we are expected to have by the end of this year.

This study, carried out by iPass, says that the 340 million worldwide hotspots will theoretically mean that there will be one hotspot for every 20 people on earth.

We say theoretically because the hotspots, as you would expect, won't be evenly distributed throughout every country. North America will have a staggering one hotspot for every four people, while under-developed countries like Africa will only have one hotspot for every 408 people.

iPass also found that the UK currently has one hotspot for every 11 people in the population, which is a ratio that has been improved recently by network provider BT who are beginning to turn their customer routers into hotspots.

At present Europe is leading the way with 50% of the world's Wi-Fi situated on the continent. France is the world's most connected country with more hotspots than anywhere else on the planet; the US and UK are closely trailing though.

Over the next four years the US and China will gradually take the lead in connectivity terms, and Europe will also be stripped of its Wi-Fi title by the quickly developing continent of Asia. 

The study also predicts Wi-Fi on transport to vastly improve with 60% of planes and 11% of trains to become connected by 2018, which is a nice boost over the current 16% of planes and 3% of trains that are currently equipped.