There will be 47.7 million public wifi hotspots deployed worldwide by the end of 2014, with France leading the way, according to research.
The research from analysts Maravedis Rethink shows that over the next four years, global hotspot numbers will grow to over 340 million - nearly one wifi hotspot for every 20 people on earth by 2018. This compares to one wifi hotspot for every 150 people today.
Today, France has the most hotspots in total, followed by the US and the UK. By 2018 this will change to the US as number one hotspot provider, followed by China and then France, according to the research.
Europe is currently the leader in total numbers of hotspots, but it will be overtaken by Asia by 2018.
Maravedis Rethink conducted the research in conjunction with business wifi network provider iPass. Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass, said: "Most of the devices we use are wifi only, and even on the most advanced 4G handsets 78 percent of data goes over wifi. Simply put, it's the network of choice for consumers and soon they'll be able to roam this alternative network of millions of hotspots."
The research says wifi will be available on 60 percent of planes and 11 percent of trains by 2018. This compares to only 16 percent of planes and three percent of trains now.
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