What’s better: Fast, or Free wi-fi?

21 May

Wifi.jpgI’m going to stick with the hotel wi-fi theme introduced in a previous post this month because there’s a new study that shows just how important this issue has become to business travelers around the world.

It’s not just Americans who need a high-speed internet fix when traveling on business or vacation. Some 95% of respondents in a recent survey among business travelers from Europe and the Middle East admit to taking their mobile devices on vacation for work as well as personal use. More than half (56%) of respondents said that they used their mobile device for accessing work e-mail or downloading work documents when on vacation– an increase over last year’s figure of 48 percent.


“It used to be that when people went on vacation, that’s what they did. Now it seems that we can never switch off from work, even when we’re at the beach,” said the CEO of network provider Brocade.

Interestingly, approximately a third of the 500 business travelers surveyed said that they intended to stream coverage of the Summer Olympics (July 27-Aug 12) through their devices while on vacation, which is going to put immense pressure on local networks to provide sufficient bandwidth and service reliability to users.

Since we are talking international here… it’s important to point out that Best Western’s policy of 100% free wi-fi applies to ALL of its 4000 hotels around the world. That’s important, considering wi-fi charges outside the US tend to be significantly higher.

A little closer to home… did you know that many old, out-of-use phone booths on the streets of New York City will soon be outfitted as wi-fi hotspots? So far, the city has converted 10 booths, with many more to come.

So what about you? Will you use a mobile device to check in at work while you are on vacation this summer? Maybe tune in for the Olympics?

What’s better: Fast, or Free wi-fi?


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