WI-FI PRICING STABILISES AS MARKET MATURES, AND OPERATORS INCREASE SUBSCRIPTION BASED PRODUCTS
London, 18 October 2006 - Deployment of wireless hotspots in Europe has jumped by 28 percent between May 2005 and September 2006, according to the latest research by BroadGroup Tariff Services (www.mobilepricing.com). The majority of hotspots are located in the UK, Germany and France with the UK retaining the lead with 39% of all hotspots located in Europe. 61 percent of all hotspots deployed in Europe are controlled by telcos and mobile operators. The new survey, Wi-Fi Europe, covers 139 service providers in 28 countries, and includes more than 350 products. The report findings suggest that although prices have remained stable in what is increasingly a mature market, a number of new time bands have been introduced. 24-hour pricing remains the most widely used time band (21%) across Europe and is offered by half of all providers. Another key development identified in the BroadGroup survey is that although the public Wi-Fi market in Europe is still predominately prepaid, the incidence of one-month subscription based prices is on the increase, and now represents just under 20 percent of market offerings. Purchase of Wi-Fi services via SMS has also increased with blocks of 5 minutes being the smallest unit. Price differences within a time band can vary significantly for example for the 15-minute product the difference is 8 fold, and 8.5 for the 1-hour product. 'We have seen more innovation occurring in Wi-Fi product marketing,' commented Margrit Sessions, managing director at BroadGroup Tariff Services. 'Operators are using bundling more effectively, and have extended the validity period from 1-time log-in to multiple log-ins over different periods ranging from 24 hours up to 1 year.' Conducted each year, the BroadGroup Wi-Fi survey tracks all price schemes offered by service providers in the countries covered and presents tariffs in a common format accompanied by an analytical report.