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Published on May 28th, 2013 | by Alexis Argent

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Ubiquiti Report Reveals Current ‘State of WiFi’ Hampers Mobile Productivity

Ubiquiti Networks, manufacturer of market-leading products like the airFiber, Unifi Range and AirCam Range have announced the findings of their ‘State of WiFi Report’.

70% Workforce Reports Being Under-Networked: Unable to Access Work-Essential Apps; Influences Travel, Hotel and Dining Decisions

Ubiquiti Networks announced the findings of its new ‘State of WiFi Report’ from The Mobile Marketplace, CTIA 2013, being held there this week. The findings identified an increasingly growing demand for WiFi access and availability; improved reliability; and enhanced performance as today’s mobile workforce not only depends on WiFi for productivity, but also uses it as a competitive factor when deciding where to conduct business, stay and dine while traveling or on the go.

Ubiquiti logo

Overall, most users (48%) give WiFi a ‘B’ for its general availability and performance in their hometowns, however, when asked how they felt about WiFi in the workplace, 70% say productivity suffers when it isn’t readily 

accessible. 52% admit that work-essential apps often cannot be used due to poor WiFi availability or reliability. And 71% agree that they’d use more demanding applications such as video and chat if faster WiFi were more widely available.

WiFi has become a must-have capability for mobile workers—it’s impacting revenue and worker productivity for businesses of all types and sizes,” said David Hsieh, Chief Marketing Officer for Ubiquiti Networks. “Increasingly powerful mobile device capabilities mean user needs are outpacing existing networks in terms of accessibility, dependability and performance.”

Of the 84% that reported having WiFi at work, 44% give their employers a B grade for its availability and performance. The cities with highest satisfaction, in order, are:

  • Minneapolis
  • Los Angeles, Detroit (tied)
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Orlando (tied)

The cities that earned the lowest grade, in order are:

  • Sacramento, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia (tied)
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas, Chicago (tied)
  • Tampa
  • Atlanta

When ranked by industry, advertising/marketing/PR, agriculture, insurance, telecommunications, and technology scored the highest marks. Transportation, government, automotive, retail and food services scored the lowest.

The accelerating demand for WiFi everywhere means businesses need to plan for the future,” continued Hsieh. “Emerging standards such as 802.11ac that provide gigabit performance are essential to keep up with the growing number of bandwidth-hungry mobile devices and applications that are required to complete critical job functions.”

In fact, 79% of working professionals say their need for high performance WiFi often influences their choice of hotels, restaurants and other businesses. While many of these businesses offer WiFi, many complain it’s not available, reliable or fast enough to meet their needs. At 32%, hotels are listed as needing the most improvement in this area, followed by restaurants and coffeehouses (19%), public spaces outdoors (18%), and doctors’ offices and hospitals (10%). 5% or less wanted more and better WiFi from planes, trains, airports, malls and shops, schools, convention centers and stadiums.

As for the biggest WiFi complaints, at 28%, users are most frustrated by unreliable signals. 23% pointed to lack of availability, 19% are most worried about security, and 65% feel WiFi is simply not fast enough. 24% of mobile professionals feel WiFi is getting worse—not better—at meeting their growing needs.

Key takeaways from the ‘State of WiFi Report’ are as follows:

  • 80% of users say WiFi availability and quality in their city is a B or worse. The five lowest rated cities are: Denver, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Boston and Phoenix.
  • 70% of mobile workers say WiFi availability and quality negatively impact their productivity.
  • 78% of mobile workers say WiFi influences which hotels, restaurants and other businesses they choose to conduct business.
  • 24% of mobile workers say WiFi quality is getting worse, while 71% would take advantage of better Wi-Fi by using more demanding applications like video chat.

1000 working professionals in the US, 18 years old and over, participated in the State of WiFi Report. Research Now was commissioned by Ubiquiti Networks to conduct the survey between April 25 and May 1, 2013.

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